Abstract The electrical resistivity and the lattice parameters have been studied as a function of pressure on the quasi-twodimensional purple bronze KMo 6O 17 which shows a Peierls transition towards a commensurate charge density wave state. The Peierls temperature is found to be first slightly decreased for pressures smaller than 6 kbar, then strongly increased above. This increase is associated to an anomalous contraction of the lattice parameters in the plane of the layers. The corresponding large increase of the compressibility above 16 kbar at 300 K is associated to the pretransitional regime of the Peierls transition as a function of pressure. These results are attributed mainly to an improved nesting of the Fermi surface under pressure.