Video: The 306 Maxi barks like a furious Dachshund

23rd February 2024
Ben Miles

What is the coolest rally car of all time? You’ve immediately thought of Lancia or Audi’s Group B cars, or if you’re of a later vintage, you’ve been thinking Impreza or Elo right? Well, you’re wrong. Because it’s quite possibly the Peugeot 306 Maxi.

It’s a very simple, but brilliant mix. A small french hatchback, given some extremely large arches, a small rear wing, an engine that barks like a particularly annoyed hound and a seven-speed sequential gearbox. Then hand that over to a driver as legendary as Gilles Panizzi and we’re sold on this video before we’ve even watched it.

Panizzi has one of the most expressive faces in rallying history. His focussed face looks exactly like the face someone chucking a rally car down some thin roads should look. A mixture of wide eyes but a calm demeanour to the rest of his visage.

After a bit of pre-amble we’re in. The Maxi screams up to its red line that approached 10,000rpm. Panizzi is battering it through the gears with no sympathy, demanding more from his F2 rally steed. We don’t ever see it actually going wrong, but there is definitely a moment where it all heads that way. Panizzi’s eyes widen and he bangs it into the lowest gear possible. But after a few cross words with himself, Panizzi is back on it straight away.

And with that our argument that the Maxi is the coolest rally car of all time is done. You must be sold by now, and if not then simply there is no helping you.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Absolute chaos in the MX‑5 Cup at Daytona

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