This new engine has a power output of 80 kW at 4 000 r/min and torque is 240 Nm at just 1 750 r/min. Peugeot SA claims a top speed of 189 km/h at Reef altitude.
Independent local testing also showed that in five-speed manual guise the vehicle capable of dispatching the 0?100 km/h sprint in 11.2 seconds and covers the standing kilometre in under 33 seconds.
According to Peugeot the new engine endows the 307 with good flexibility, thanks to an "overboost" function that makes 260 Nm available under certain conditions.
The ECU (engine management computer) interprets a full throttle application preceded by a downshift as the signal to increase turbocharger boost, achieved by adjusting the vanes of the turbo impeller.
This additional torque helps to reduce the time spent "in the line of fire" when overtaking, and make the car especially adept at slotting effortlessly into gaps in the traffic.
An air-to-air intercooler keeps intake temperatures under control irrespective of the ambient, allowing the engine to deliver its rated output under all conditions.
Key functions such as fuel pressure, flow rate, and the timing and duration of each injector's cycle are computer-controlled.
And with a high-pressure common rail injection system the engine is designed to be very efficient. Fuel consumption in the Combined cycle (as per EU Directive 1999/100) is 4.9 litres per 100 km, dropping to 4.3 litres per 100 km on the open road.
In addition, the 1,6 HDi complies with stringent Euro 4 emission standards, and at 129 grams per kilometre, emits one of the lowest levels of carbon dioxide in the industry.
Drive is to the front wheels, and the gearbox ratios in the BE4/5L transmission are identical to those of the outgoing HDi, but with the final drive ratio revised to suit the different power and torque curves of the 1.6 litre engine.
The latest addition to the 307 range comes in XS trim. It comes with features such as a chilled glovebox, underseat storage drawers, and folding mirrors.
Climate control and a sound system with CD-player are standard, as are electric windows with a one-touch function all round. Driving computer, front fog lights, and headlights that activate automatically according to lighting conditions are also fitted.
A rain sensor fitted to the windscreen activates the wipers without driver intervention and adjusts their speed according to the intensity of the downpour.
Comfort for the front occupants is further enhanced by height-adjustable seats, front armrests, storage space for sunglasses in the roof, and illuminated vanity mirrors.
Pre-tensioning seatbelts, six airbags, and anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distributor (EBFD) and Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) take care of secondary safety, while proven suspension design based around front struts and a trailing arm rear beam axle ensure responsive handling.
Pricing: R194 900