Watch: tiny jet-powered Peugeot is a 2000hp flame-throwing monster
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The act of wedging a big engine in a tiny car is a pastime as old as automotive modification itself.
Whether it's the original Shelby Cobra (which came as such from the factory), or the plethora of LS-swapped V8 Mazda MX-5s and Hayabusa-swapped Japanese Kei cars and Minis — few things in motoring as effective at triggering the 8-year-old inside the average car enthusiast.
In part, that's why the Driven office was blown away by this diminutive and devastating Peugeot 205 hatchback.
Known as the Invader, the hatch was a recent performer at Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire, England — having been shipped over to the venue from its home nation of France. There, it spewed flames in excess of 20 metres in length, providing a toasty ambience for the spectators.
While it's a car that was new to us, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the build itself is around 10 years old. Despite looking largely intact from the outside, the lit 205 is actually formed around a (reasonably spartan) spaceframe chassis. This wears a modified version of the Peugeot's body shell over the top, with a custom-made composite front clip completing the look.
It's powered by a Turbomeca Marboré jet engine; known best for its use in 1950s Masgister training aircraft. According to its builders, the fire-spitting powertrain is good for 2000hp — or, 1491kW.
Sadly but somewhat understandably, Invader is purely a demonstration vehicle. There's no category for jet-powered drag cars for it to compete in in France. But, we're glad to see that even after 10 years it's still putting smiles on people's faces (and probably singeing the odd eyebrow, too).