Even though it is not slated to come to the U.S., nor are any Peugeots, we have kept a watchful eye on the new Peugeot 301 four-door hatchback. Behind the scenes and obviously out of our prying eyes’ range, Peugeot has been working on a different version of the 301, a sedan, or saloon for you U.K. folks.
Yup, this new 301 looks just like the 301 hatchback that we have seen frolicking around, but has the hatch hacked off and a trunk put in its place. This new 301, which is set to debut at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012, is positioned in the automaker’s developing market lineup – Turkey, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Middle East, Gulf and African States, and certain Latin America markets.
Even though its release is not scheduled for a few more months, Peugeot has decided to give us a sneak peak at this new model and a short press release to let us now about some of its key features.
UPDATE 07/23/12: French automaker Peugeot has just come out with a fresh batch of photos for the 301 Sedan. Check out the car in action on the road in the gallery!
Click past the jump to rear our full review on the upcoming Peugeot 301 Sedan.
Peugeot designed the 301 to not only be economical enough for developing markets, but also so it looks like a car that you would find in the U.S. or U.K. The front end features a front fascia that includes a chrome-outlined wide-mouth grille. The lower part of the fascia houses a smaller lower grille and on each side of the grille is a round fog lamp.
The hood has a large raised center, leaving just the outer inch or so of the hood to match the height of the front fenders. The center of the 301’s hood also features several raised lines to set it off and in the center of the hood is an indentation that starts at the fame boxing lion Peugeot emblem and tapering outward as it approaches the windshield.
The roofline of the 301 is about what you would expect of an economy sedan, as its windshield rakes rearward slightly into a pretty flat roof, then finally swoops downward with nothing really special going on in the back end. The side of the 301 is a different story, as this econo-box features a high beltline, which wraps around the entire rear ¾ of the vehicle, that overhangs the lower part of the car. It sounds silly to explain, but it looks absolutely sharp.
On the rear, you get the same beltline, but it is near the top of the trunk lid. The rear fascia is really generic and there is not much to say about it, except the small cutout on the bottom that looks a little neat. The taillights are fairly conventional, as the inward edges are at an angle and the outermost edge of each light matches up perfectly with the high belt line.
The exterior of the 301 is not your typical economy car look, but it is fairly basic for the times. To developing markets it will likely be a welcome relief to boring and under-styled economy cars.
The interior is as un-econo-box as it possibly can be without sharply increasing the 301’s base price. The first thing you’ll notice when you take a seat is that this sedan features a flat-bottom steering wheel, which is typically reserved for high-end vehicles. The glossy interior color accents on the door pull handle, gear shifter, and passenger’s side of the dashboard are an awesome feature that really makes this interior look like it belongs on a higher-value car.
In the center console is an AM/FM stereo system with MP3 playback capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity, and USB port. The trunk features a remote opener, and you also get a parking assist system, which is unheard of in an economy car.
In the trunk you get enough room for some luggage, as it has up to 17.8 cubic-feet of storage space.
That’s all of the information that Peugeot has shared with us to this date on the interior. Once more information becomes available, we’ll relay it to you.
Engine and Drivetrain
As with any economy car, the engines come pre-mated with a transmission and there is little modification available. The base level engine is the 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine found in the 208, which bangs out just 71 horsepower. This transmission comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission or an electronic gearbox control, which is a six-speed manual transmission with electrical controls.
The next engine in line is the 92-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder. This engine comes mated only to the five-speed manual transmission.
Last, we have the top-level 1.6-liter engine, which cranks out 115 horsepower. This engine comes mated to either a five-speed manual or an automatic transmission.
The 301 comes fitted with a decent smattering of safety features. The most notable features are an electronic stability program, ABS, as many as four airbags, emergency brake assistance, which applies the brakes if you are about to get into an accident with the car ahead of you, and ISOFIX.
We’re certain that there are more safety features coming, but this is all we know as of now.
Peugeot hasn’t released any pricing yet, but we will let you know as soon as they do.
Until we get a base price, it is hard to apply any competition to the 301. We do know that Peugeot will have plenty of competition in the form of the soon-to-be-revived Datsun lineup.
In terms of overall looks, the Peugeot is relatively bland for modern standards. One you find out that this car is intended for developing markets, you find this car relatively good looking, when compared to what is currently offered there. Before we can make a final yes or no decision on buying this car, we need to see a firm pricing point, as the markets it is going into are extremely sensitive.
For now, we will hold our judgment. Once more information becomes available, we will update you.
THE NEW PEUGEOT 301 - A COMPACT FOUR-DOOR SALOON TO EXPAND INTERNATIONAL MARKETS
The new Peugeot 301 is a clear illustration of the Marque’s internationalisation and demonstrates its desire to conquer new markets. It has been specifically designed to appeal to a wide customer base attracted by four-door saloons which are both accessible and present an enhanced level of status. In keeping with Peugeot’s desire to introduce cars for specific markets, the 301 is not intended for the UK market.
The Peugeot 301, which in time is expected to become one of the Marque’s best selling vehicles worldwide, is positioned at the heart of its segment. It offers modern styling and features that are carefully adapted to fulfil the expectations of the different markets in which it will be sold.
The 301 incorporates the latest stylistic codes of the Marque offering a modern design and character which inspires emotion and gives an impression of strength. Furthermore, the design of this new car was guided at every stage by the desire to be the best in class incorporating Peugeot’s highest quality criteria.
The 301 was developed to adapt to all conditions of use, and extremes (hot countries, cold countries, and poor roads). With an overall length of 4.44 metres it sets itself apart with an optimised and generous structure which puts it a step ahead of the competition. So, it will have benchmark characteristics in its segment:
Class leading occupant space in the rear due to a wheelbase of 2.65 m
A best in class boot volume of 506 dm3 (VDA 210)
Safe handling combined with high levels of comfort, the result of Peugeot’s chassis expertise and thus guaranteeing excellent driving pleasure under all conditions
A wide range of safety equipment available: ESP, ABS, up to four airbags, emergency braking assistance, ISOFIX, etc.
The range of latest generation petrol and diesel engines on the 301 is perfectly suited to the expectations of target markets, with power values ranging from 71 bhp to 115 bhp and manual, piloted or automatic gearboxes:
1.2 l VTi 52 kW (71 bhp) (1) with manual or EGC ( electronic gearbox control)
1.6 l HDi 68 kW (92 bhp) with manual gearbox
1.6 l VTi 85 kW (115 bhp) with manual or automatic gearbox
A symbol of modernity, the 301 therefore will become the second car in the Peugeot range, after the 208, to benefit from the new range of 3 cylinder petrol engines (1.2 l VTi) which, due to their advanced technology, combine driving pleasure and reduced fuel consumption.
The 301 incorporates modern comfort equipment (electronic air conditioning, MP3 audio system with Bluetooth hands-free kit and USB connection, remote opening of the boot, rear parking assistance, etc), all of which guarantee an excellent level of comfort on board.
A family vehicle that is both safe and reliable with great driving characteristics, these are elements that have already ensured the success of the Marque in many of the countries where the 301 will be sold. Indeed, Peugeot has been manufacturing motor vehicles for more than 100 years and has designed numerous saloons which have earned and continue to earn their place in motor vehicle history (404, 504, 305, 405, 406, 407, 408, and 508).
The new Peugeot 301, manufactured in Vigo (Spain), will have its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in September. It will then go on sale from 1st November 2012 in Turkey then into Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, The Middle East, Gulf and African States, as well as in certain Latin American markets.
(1) subject to homologation
WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW PEUGEOT 301 THE MARQUE INTRODUCES A NEW NAMING POLICY
The Peugeot Marque is reinventing its naming policy around the central ’0’ as part of the development of its internationalisation strategy. In future, Peugeot will choose to use the end digit ’1’ for all its new ’conquest’ models and permanently fix the identity of all models with an end digit ’8’ for future products.
It was in 1929 with the 201* that Peugeot began its characteristic three-digit numbering system based around the central ’zero’.
The naming system used by Peugeot, going back through history, was structured so that:
the central zero corresponded to the identity of the Peugeot marque
the first digit represented the segment size of the vehicle
the end digit indicated the generation of the vehicle
This system evolved at the end of the ’90s, incorporating double letters to qualify the derived body type (CC and SW). Since 2005, it has been supplemented with the central ’double zero’ which qualified the models that have had a taller body structure, such as the 3008 and 5008.
In 2012, further International development has led the marque to now reinvent its naming policy further.
From now on, Peugeot models will no longer change their number when they are renewed. Permanently fixing the numbers will simplify the understanding of the range and assist in establishing it further.
The ’0’ indicates the genetic code
The central ’0’ represents the genetic code of the Peugeot marque and so is retained.
The first digit: symbol of the segment
The first digit indicating the vehicle’s segment (or size), regardless of the market in which it is sold, is also retained.
The end digit is a response to new challenges and new ambitions
Expansion into new markets at an international level calls for the launch of new models in the large volume segments at the heart of these markets.
In future, these models will take their place in the Peugeot range and bear new names: numbers with an end digit ’1’.
Designed specifically to fulfil new customer expectations, these new models will offer value for money and status and will supplement the range of models that from now on will remain with the end digit ’8’.
The Peugeot 301 is the first of these new models to bear the contemporary stylistic codes of the Marque. These new models will distinguish themselves in their segments through dynamic handling and driving enjoyment - qualities that define the Peugeot brand.
The construction of the names with an end digit ’1’ will be the same as for the models with an end digit ’8’. Numbering with 3 or 4 digits, depending on the design of the vehicle, with:
the first digit indicating the vehicle’s segment positioning
the ’0’ or ’00’ identifying the Peugeot genetic code
the end digit being either ’1’ or ’8’.
Models with ’1’
Following the example of the 201* characterised by strength and economy, in its time, the ’1’ will represent the Marque’s value for money models in their markets that offer status that fulfils customer expectations centred around practicality of use, versatility and vehicle requirements.
Models with ’8’
All models that already bear a number with an end digit ’8’, such as the 308 and 3008, will keep their name when they are renewed and generation 7 models will be replaced with an end digit ’8’.
Throughout its history, Peugeot has had the expertise to combine exacting standards with emotion and it is on this foundation that the Marque has established itself, reinventing itself in keeping with market trends and requirements as it extends its international range enhancement.