Either way, if anyone at Sochaux had their doubts about the allocation of 1000 right-hand-drive 106 Rallyes to the UK, they would have been quickly silenced by the full order books coming back from British dealers.
The homologation purpose of the 205 Rallye (closest) was lost for later versions, but the sense of focus remained
The imports continued, too, and in total well over 16,000 were built in a production run of barely two years.
The new car, in essence, appeared hardly new at all.
Apart from a bit of nip-and-tuck to follow the laws of 1990s modernisation – the 106 now had a drag coefficient of 0.31Cd and a neat new interior – it felt almost in the realm of a three-door 205 facelift.
But Peugeot was keen to point out the all-new chassis and, while the 1294cc competition-sourced ‘four’ returned to power the Rallye, it was heavily reworked.
Although the 1.3-litre ‘four’ from the 205 Rallye remained, a raft of mechanical upgrades kept the 106 Rallye fresh
There was now fuel injection, new manifolds, a cylinder head borrowed from the 1.4-litre 106 XSi, and a higher 10.2:1 compression ratio.
It also pinched the XSi’s suspension, albeit uprated with larger-diameter anti-roll bars and stronger front mountings.
The 1.3-litre Rallye remained the most potent model in the 106 range until the arrival of the Phase 2 GTI of ’96, and a 1.6-litre Rallye derivative two years later.
Phase 1 Peugeot 106 Rallyes got a slatted grille, while Phase 2 models have a rounded nose and 1.6-litre power
Its popularity as an affordable privateer’s rally car continued, as did its place in the eyes of enthusiasts for lively hatchbacks.
Mikael Caille found this black ’95 example in 2014 to replace his Talbot Samba: “I was looking for something more, either a Renault Clio 16v or a 106 Rallye.”
Originally supplied to Italy, the car had found its way to Marbella, Spain, when Mikael discovered it.
“From the little I know, it had been used as a recce car for rallies and maybe hillclimbs,” he says.
Diminutive dimensions give the Peugeot 106 Rallye a cheeky look, but it’s actually heavier than the 205 and feels more solid, too