Lift Off!

106 oversteerLift-off oversteer (LOO) is a term used to describe the process that happens when lifting your foot off the throttle while cornering at speed, to induce weight transfer and cause oversteer primarily in a front wheel drive car.

Some cars are more prone to LOO than others and some are deliberately designed to make it accessible. LOO should come with a warning, however, if you’re not expecting it, you could easily end up in an accident as the rear of the car overtakes the front!
Once the rear of the car is sliding, the usual couse of action is to steer in the direction of the slide and apply the throttle. This takes training and discipline as most people tend to automatically press the brake, or panic and take no action at all, leading to a spin, or worse a crash. It is also important not to overcorrect the steering by applying too much corrective lock and then end up getting into a ‘tank slapper’ and fishtailing down the road.
Taking the car on a trackday is one of the ways to learn this characteristic in a relatively safe environment and then you can choose to adjust the car on the limit using this technique or just employ it for fun.

The 106 GTi/Rallye with it’s excellent chassis, allows oversteer on demand and is part of the car’s charm. It’s rare nowadays for cars to oversteer when lifting for safety reasons but there are still many hatchbacks that do, 306 GTI-6, Clio Sports, Civic Type-Rs to mention a few.

LOO in action:

Carbon City

Money no object? Head over to Streamline Carbon where you buy almost any Carbon fibre part to fit the 106.

Having seen their work on the GTi-6 and their willingness to create custom carbon fibre parts at prices reasonably accessible to the general public, I thought I’d check out their range for the 106.

As well as its inherent beauty, Carbon Fibre offers a very lightweight and very strong option, particularly good for track cars where weight is the enemy. From coilpack covers to tailgates the range is impressive, if expensive. However when you bear in mind, this sort of technology was previously reserved for Formula One cars, it is impressive to see it filtering down to the cheap hot hatch market.

Check out their impressive demo 106 Maxi build project here

New motor

So I knew it had to be the 106 gti. Nothing else fitted the requirements. It had to handle as well as my 306 gti, be cheap to buy, cheap to run and fun.

Having had a 306 Gti-6 for 5 years, taken right up to 400bhp over the years, I knew anything would be a step down power-wise, even though the 106 can do 0-60 in less than 7 seconds. However, I realised outright power was only some of the fun, most of my driving is on the daily commute which involves a few stretches of twisty road, the ideal place for a nimble hatch like the 106 GTi.

Parts it seems are far cheaper than the 306 with seemingly one exception, half leather interiors. Second hand engines can be had for £200, sometimes even less, bushes, brakes and drivetrain components are all relatively cheap, and plenty of the electrics and trim parts are generic across the range.

I enquired about a car in High Wycombe, which sounded good, the mileage was 122,000, which is average for the year. I was not worried one bit about the mileage as long as it was regularly serviced and had had frequent oil changes. Too much is made of mileages over 100,000 these days. Most modern engines will run and run, it will be the suspension and paint you need to need to inspect for deterioration.

So I went to view, and it looked very honest. Service book all stamped up, 2 previous owners, smooth engine, rad in decent condition, cambelt recently changed. The paintwork was excellent, no rust or laquer peel, just 2 to 3 dents over the whole of the car. A quick testdrive, revealed the gearbox was fine, no pulls in the suspension and the car was rattle and squeak free. The rear beam also looked fine, no camber or squeaks. The interior was a red/gray cloth combination sadly but I knew I could buy a half leather set and swap them easily.

The car was reasonably priced, but I negotiated £95 off the price and put down a deposit.

I went to collect the following weekend in some of the worst snow for years! We couldn’t make it up the hill in the rear wheel drive BMW 1 Series so I had to walk the last stretch!

The deal was done and I gingerly made it down the hill, making sure I didn’t bin it just after buying the car!

The car felt great on the way home, very spritely.

I parked up at home, headed inside and then heard an alarm going off outside! Yep, good old French electrics! Usual cause of this is the ultrasonics playing up and so the first item on the todo list was created!


Welcome to 106Gti.co.uk. As a Peugeot owner and enthusiast, over the next few months I hope to bring you a useful resource for information and guides on owning and maintaining a 106 GTi. Renowned as being one of the best handling cars, never mind hatchbacks of all time, the 106 definitely punches above it’s weight.

Please check back soon as the site gets up to speed with articles and posts on the ownership experience.

For now, enjoy Clarkson celebrating the 106 Gti!