White Peugeot Cabriolet Type 204 by Pininfarina from 1968, four cylinders, 1130 cc, 58 HP, 140 km/h.

The 204 used a front-wheel drive layout and was launched on 20 April 1965 with a single overhead cam 1130 cc petrol engine (the maximum allowed for the 6CV ‘car tax’ class in France). In September 1975, less than a year before production ceased, it received a more modern petrol engine, now of 1127 cc. Claimed maximum output, which at launch had been 53 bhp (39 kW), increased to 59 bhp (43 kW), though there was a marginal reduction in maximum torque.

Following the demise of the 204 the new 1127 cc engine found its way into a version of the Peugeot 304 estate: the smaller engine enjoyed substantial tax benefits in the home market when compared to the 1290 cc engines fitted to most 304s.

For certain export markets engine compression ratios and power on the petrol engines were reduced in order to accommodate lower octane fuels.

Towards the end of 1968 a 1255 cc diesel engine option became available for the 204 estate and fourgonette (van) versions. At the time, this is thought to have been the smallest diesel engine fitted in a commercially available car anywhere in the world.

In April 1973 the diesel unit was increased in size to 1357 cc, and in September 1975 this diesel unit finally became an option on the 204 saloon.

Fuel economy on the 204 Diesel was startlingly good for the era, with overall fuel consumption at 5.7 litres per 100 km (roughly 41 mpgUS): performance was correspondingly underwhelming with a claimed top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).

Out of the approximately 150,000 diesel 204s produced, fewer than 30,000 were saloons. Until the early 1980s when Volkswagen started heavy promotion of their diesel-engined Golf/Rabbit, cars too small to be used as taxis were generally not offered with diesel engines to European customers.

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