Last Updated: Fri, Jun 15, 2012 19:42 hrs

Think of the Peugeot name and one of the first things to come to mind is the Peugeot 309 of yore. Well, fans of the 309 have something to rejoice about. This new sedan that Peugeot has planned for developing markets, called the 301, takes a leaf right out the 309’s book — it’s simple, robust, has a penchant for bad roads and is expected to become one of Peugeot’s best-selling cars in the world. It hopes to get good volumes from developing markets, so that will also help the company price it very competitively.

Surprised to see a 301 when, logically, a 309 model should have appeared? Well, along with this model, Peugeot also unveiled a new nomenclature system for their future products. Products will follow a three number system (or four in the case of models like the 3008), where the first number will represent the series of car, the second (and third in some cases) will always be a 0 and the third will either be a 1 (for developing markets) or 8 (for established markets).

Don’t expect it to come with a stripped-down interior, just because it's made with developing markets in mind. Standard features include air conditioning, a Bluetooth-enabled stereo system, ABS, airbags and even an emergency brake assist program. So much for de-speccing, eh? There will be three engines on offer internationally — a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine that makes 71 bhp is available mated to either a 5-speed manual or an electronic gearbox control, which is basically Peugeot-speak for an automated clutch. Then there is a pair of 1.6-litre engines, one a 115 bhp petrol engine which also comes with the option of an automatic transmission, and the other a 92 bhp diesel mated only to a 6-speed manual gearbox. When it comes here, we figure it will come with all of these engine options in tow.

At 4.4 metres in length, the 301 is almost at par with the Honda City, and it has a wheelbase that is 100 mm longer than the City, so you can expect some generous interior space as well. It will be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor show in September of this year, and soon after that will go on sale in certain markets. No word on exactly when it will make it here, but when it does, expect it to be priced in the Rs 8-10 lakh price range.

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