Budget Pug sedan ends 308
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW: Peugeot's new 301 replaces the 308 and will take on VW's Jetta and Golf with its range of creature comforts, generous boot and styling.
Peugeot is a planning a new compact sedan, set to replace the aging 308, which will usher in a new naming strategy for the French automaker.
The new 301, not to be mistaken for the model built during 1932 - 1936, sports the French automaker's new design language set to "inspire emotion" behind the wheel.
The new model shares the same platform as the Citroen C4 and DS4.
Peugeot claims the car has undergone extensive development in a number of countries and climates around the world to ensure it can have a comfortable ride quality on the likely broken surfaces of the roads of countries it’s set to be sold in.
The 301 will be Peugeot's second model after the 208 to be powered by the brand's new three-cylinder 1.2 VTi petrol engine. The engine is capable of 52kW and can be mated to either a manual or auto.
Two 1.6 engines complete the line-up - a 1.6 HDi diesel capable of 68kW and an 85kW 1.6 VTi petrol. The diesel will only be available with a manual transmission while the petrol comes in either a manual or auto guise.
At 4.44m the model sports a generous 506-litre boot and plenty of cabin space thanks to its 2650mm wheelbase.
Equipment includes air conditioning, a multimedia unit capable of MP3, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, remote opening of the boot, and parking assistance. Safety equipment offered includes ESP, ABS, four airbags and an emergency brake-assist system. The new model is tipped to take on Volkswagen's Golf.
ALL IN A NAME
Peugeot's current naming system, dating back to 1929, has every model consisting of three digits with the middle being a zero. In the last few years there have been models with four digits (1007, 3008, 5008) with two central zeroes.
The French automaker has kept its system going for over eighty years without repeating a number. From 2012 the naming convention will change. There will still be central zero(s) and the first digit will be related to the size of the vehicle. The last digit, however, will from now on be either eight or one.
If it's one, as in 301, the vehicle is intended for the following markets - Europe (except UK), Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East, LHD African markets and South America.
For all other models it will be designated by an 8.
Peugeot has made the 206, which in turn was replaced by the 207 and now the 208. There won't be a 209, but instead the 208's replacement will be another 208. Models with names currently ending in a seven will remain that way, but their successors will be an 8.
The new Peugeot 301, to be made n in Vigo, Spain, will have its world premiere at the Paris auto show in September 2012. As the car is built for LHD markets, it's imminent appearance in South Africa is unlikely