Peugeot 301 breaks cover

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 24, 2012

Peugeot unveiled today the brand new 301 sedan, a car that aims to conquer Turkey but also Eastern Europe as well as Russia, Africa and Latin America. Developed to adapt to all conditions of use, the Peugeot 301 has an overall length of of 4.44 metres and a class leading occupant space in the rear due to a wheelbase of 2.65 meters.

Moreover, it promises to offer in class boot volume of 506 liters. As expected, a wide range of safety equipment is available such as ESP, ABS, up to four airbags, emergency braking assistance and ISOFIX. Under the hood we will find a choice of three engines: a 1.2-liter VTi 52 kW (71 bhp) with with manual or EGC ( electronic gearbox control), a 1.6 l HDi 68 kW (92 bhp) with manual gearbox and a 1.6 l VTi 85 kW (115 bhp) with manual or automatic gearbox.

Moreover, the 2013 Peugeot 301 will offer electronic air conditioning, MP3 audio system with Bluetooth hands-free kit and USB connection, remote opening of the boot and rear parking assistance. According to the press release, Peugeot 301 will be manufactured in Vigo (Spain), will have its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in September. The car will hit the dealerships in November 2012.

Press Release

Peugeot 301

The new Peugeot 301 is a clear illustration of the Marque's internationalisation and its desire to conquer new markets. It has been specifically designed to appeal to a wide customer base, demanding and attracted by 'three-compartment' Saloons which are both affordable and offer status.

The Peugeot 301 is positioned at the heart of its segment. It offers modern styling and features, carefully adapted to fulfil the expectations of the different markets in which it will be sold.

The 301 incorporates the very latest stylistic codes of the Marque offering a design of refined character and a modern appearance which inspire emotion and give an aura of strength. Furthermore, the design of the vehicle was guided at every stage by this last requirement, incorporating Peugeot's best quality criteria.

The Peugeot 301 has been developed to adapt to all conditions of use, even in extremes (hot countries, cold countries, poor road surfaces, etc.).

At 4.44m long, it sets itself apart with an optimised and generous structure which puts it a step ahead of the competition. So, it has benchmark characteristics in its segment:

Record occupant space in the rear seats: legroom of 121mm,
A record boot volume of 640 litres,
Safe handling combined with a high level of comfort, the result of Peugeot's expertise, guaranteeing excellent driving pleasure in all circumstances,
A wide range of safety equipment is available: ESP, ABS, up to four airbags, emergency braking assistance, ISOFIX, etc.

In the same way, the range of latest generation diesel and petrol engines is perfectly suited to the expectations of the target markets, with power values ranging from 72bhp to 115bhp and manual, piloted or automatic gearboxes:

1.2 l VTi 53kW (72bhp) with manual or piloted gearbox
1.6 l VTi 85kW (115bhp) with manual or automatic gearbox
1.6 l HDi 68kW (92bhp) with manual gearbox
A symbol of modernity, the 301 therefore becomes the second vehicle of the Peugeot range, after the 208, to benefit from the new range of 3-cylinder petrol engines (1.2 l VTi) which, due to its technology, combines 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.) which guarantees an excellent level of features and comfort on board.

A family vehicle, safe and reliable with great driving pleasure: these are characteristics which have already ensured the success of the Marque in many of the countries targeted by the 301. Indeed, Peugeot has been manufacturing motor vehicles for more than 100 years (since 1889) and has designed numerous three-compartment Saloons which have earned and continue to earn their place in motor vehicle history (404, 504, 305, 505, 405, 406, 407, 408, 508).

The new Peugeot 301, manufactured in the European factory in Vigo (Spain), had its world premiere at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. It went on sale on November 1st, 2012 in Turkey then over a vast area: Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Maghreb, Middle East, Gulf and African States, certain Latin American markets then in a second phase in China.

Elegance and simplicity

The Peugeot stylists who designed the 301 were inspired to a great extent by the SR1 Concept car, a model symbolising the new identity of the Peugeot marque. So, the lines are pure, clean and refined. The modernity and simplicity of its design give an impression of elegance, like a beautiful design object.

Adopting Peugeot's latest stylistic codes, the 301 has a strong and dynamic character with sculpted lines and large bodywork surfaces, which also contribute to the vehicle's generous, strong and high quality image. Its balanced proportions give it a sleek and elegant profile.

The front face has all the genes of the new Peugeot style with a 'floating grille' with chamfered surround and a marque block positioned at the top under the leading edge of the bonnet. This is the starting point of the lines which shape the bonnet, like a 508, with the Lion emblem placed in prominence at its end. In the lower section, the sculpted lower front panel below the front lamps is characteristic of the new Peugeot style. Bringing dynamism and strength, it also emphasises the feline expression of the 301. Lively, technological but also tinged with emotion, it is inspired directly by the SR1, with this characteristic inflection of the 'eyebrow' of the headlamps.

Sensuousness and precise, the design of the headlamps, at the junction of the bonnet, the lower front panel and the front wings, has been paid particular attention. It is, in fact, inside the front lamps that we see the beginnings of the nerve line which runs along the sides and crosses the twotone rear lamps, outlining a claw inside these lamps in the form of an inverted 'C', a recurring theme at Peugeot. Guided by a keen eye for detail, the designers extended the course of this line beyond the rear lamp continuing it subtly in the rear wing with a return movement. Combined with the voluptuous contours of the front wings, this body line chisels sculpted sides accentuated by sharp edges at the base of the doors.

At the rear, the solid quarter panel, in the form of a triangle and positioned above the wheel, contributes to the strength and dynamic qualities exuded by the 301. Its design and that of the upper part of the boot or the shaping of the rear wing are reinterpretations of the SR1 Concept car. They express all the purity and simplicity of the new stylistic codes.

So, the horizontal rear capping is both understated and upmarket. It is sculpted with character by the lateral nerve line which provides a visual waistline for the whole vehicle. This coherence of style can also be found in the design of the number plate location which echoes the contours of the front grille. Finally, the ribs positioned at the bottom of the lower front panel to 'seat' the 301 still more firmly on the road testify to the precision with which even the smallest details of style have been treated.

The interior also bears these understated lines which forge the character and personality of the 301. Simplicity, elegance and strength are the key words of the interior design.

So, the dashboard has been designed as a cockpit turned towards the driver with an instrument panel consisting of two large circular dials, a three-spoke steering wheel, typically Peugeot, and a centre console in the form of a 'V'. The perceived strength is emphasised by the quality of the grained materials used. Depending on the finish, decorations or control trims in tungsten, satin chrome or gloss black also enhance the elegance of the whole.

Dynamism is provided by the design of the door crossbars, offered according to version, as well as by the base of the centre console which extends between the front seats.

Benchmark occupant space

Inside the Peugeot 301, it is the feeling of space which predominates. Its occupant space, both in the front and in the rear, is a benchmark in its market segment.

In order to achieve this result, the architects optimised the dimensions of the platform used by the 301 to their full potential. The wheelbase has been increased to 2.65m, a benchmark in the current market, and the tracks have been widened by 30mm at the front and 10mm at the rear.

With a front overhang of 0.816m and a rear overhang of 0.974m, the overall length reaches 4.44m. The space created as a result benefits in part the occupants and in part the volume of the boot.

Inside, the perceived occupant space is confirmed by the generous dimensions both in the front and in the rear:

Front width at elbows: 1,409mm
Rear width at elbows: 1,395mm
Legroom in the rear seats: 121mm - record in the segment (length available between the knee of the rear passenger and the driver's seat in the nominal position, which can reach 260 mm with the driver's seat fully forward)
This space, particularly as regards the rear passengers, fulfils one of the customers' major expectations. Using their vehicle mainly to transport the family, they demand occupant space in order to be able to transport comfortably up to five occupants and their luggage. The numerous interviews carried out by the 301 project teams also revealed that the new Peugeot could be driven in certain countries by a chauffeur and that it was important in this case for the rear passenger to be able to stretch his legs without restriction.

Storage compartments have been arranged inside the passenger compartment to make everyday life easier. So, the occupants will be able to use the vast front door trays, the storage compartment incorporated in the front central armrest, if specified, or at the base of the centre console if there is no armrest. The large glove box and storage compartments on the central front panel depending on the audio system complete the number of storage compartments provided for the occupants.

A record boot volume

The boot volume of the Peugeot 301 is of the same standard as its occupant space: 640 litres of which 35 litres under the boot carpet (506dm3 of which 20dm3 is under the floor, according to the VDA 210 standard). This is the record volume in the segment.

And to make it accessible, practical and accommodating, the architects have given it a rectangular shape.

The seat backs which can be spilt (2/3 - 1/3) asymmetrically (according to the trim level) with one hand in a single action, the volume available for loading luggage or objects can reach 1,038 dm3 or even 1,352 dm3 if all the rear space is used up to the roof.

By offering the most generous on board space in its category, the new Peugeot 301 gives itself a major advantage for winning over these new customers that it has it its sights.

Dynamic comfort to withstand any test

Peugeot is unanimously acclaimed for the quality of its suspension and wheels. The new 301 does not fail the Marque's reputation, offering dynamic handling of the highest level.

The front suspension is of a pseudo MacPherson and the rear suspension a deformable crossmember design. These are the suspensions offered on Peugeot's latest generation models (208, 308, 3008, etc.). Perfectly mastered by the engineers, these suspension designs have been adapted and tuned to guarantee an excellent compromise between ride comfort and road holding, mindful of the surface condition of the road. Many thousands of kilometres have been covered on several continents to define the best settings. As a result, the 301 excels in filtering out any unevenness of the road. The body resistance and the on board comfort remain of the highest level even when the vehicle is being driven over very poor surfaces. Of course, on roads which are in good condition the dynamic handling remains excellent.

Combined with this high-performance suspension, the electric power steering provides precise driving sensations irrespective of the speed of the vehicle. The level of effort required for parking manoeuvres and at low speed is reduced to ensure good manoeuvrability.

The new Peugeot 301 offers dynamic performance which sets it apart from the competition, in an essential domain for these customers who do not always benefit from road infrastructures that are in ideal conditions.

A strong design based around longevity and quality of use

The design of the 301 has been conceived to be a durable response to conditions of use which are sometimes made worse by poor roads or a hot, cold or wet climate. The numerous driving assignments carried out in the extremities of the world have allowed the engineers to make the most appropriate choices to construct a strong vehicle, providing the best response to customer expectations in these difficult conditions.

The suspension and wheels are suited to poor roads on all versions. For the roughest destinations, the 301 can also be fitted with a protective plate cover for under the engine.

The mud guards, moulded in a material which has increased resistance to the cold, are fixed by 14 bolts. Due to their generous dimensions, they provide maximum coverage and effective protection of the engine compartment against chipping.

A double sealing barrier is applied to the doors to combat dust and damp, but also the spurious noise generated by these two elements.

To guarantee lasting strength, numerous components inside the passenger compartment or outside are bolted. This is the case for the dashboard in particular which is assembled in this way and which incorporates a dashboard crossmember with an angle bracket for greater rigidity.

Certain components have also been revised in order to adapt to these sometimes rough circumstances. Therefore, the engine air supply incorporates one of the most efficient air/water separation systems and is drawn in from the front face in order to capture cooler air. The horn used is a diaphragm, not a trumpet, due to its resistance to being affected by water.

Available for the so-called 'very cold' countries, an innovative heated windscreen base frees the wipers if they become frozen during periods of heavy frost. In the same way, electrical heating resistors allow faster heating of the passenger compartment.

To fulfil the expectations of hot countries, the location and size of the vents on the front panel has been specially designed to quickly provide the best distribution of cool air inside the passenger compartment.

So, each piece of equipment, every detail, has been rethought from this viewpoint of durability and adaptation to difficult climates.

The strength of a vehicle also relies on the high quality of assembly at the factory. The new Peugeot 301, produced in Spain at Vigo, therefore benefits from the highest standards of manufacture of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group. For example, the check of the fits and clearances fulfils the same system of reference as the 508 and the quality expected is of the same level as the 208. In the same way, 4,000,000km of quality driving have been carried out to perfect the design of the vehicle.

The most up to date safety equipment

The Peugeot 301 is a compact Saloon of modern design. Consequently, it is fitted with the most recent safety equipment. According to country and engine, the new Peugeot may be fitted with ESP, ABS, emergency braking assistance or automatic lighting of the hazard warning lamps on sharp deceleration. In the same way, the 301 may offer up to four airbags (front airbags and head/chest airbags for the front passengers) as well as front seat belt pretensioners. In the rear, children have not been forgotten with the possibility, according to version, of having two Isofix mountings on the rear side seats.

As regards the brakes, ventilated discs equip the front wheels whereas at the rear drums provide efficient braking.

A comprehensive range of engines of the latest generation

The 301's engines fulfil the same aim of modernity. So it is engines of the latest generation which equip Peugeot's new compact three-compartment saloon. Combining performance and low consumption, this range of petrol and diesel engines is suited to the expectations of the target markets, with power values ranging from 72bhp to 115bhp and manual, piloted or automatic gearboxes:

1.2 l VTi 53kW (72bhp) with manual or piloted gearbox
1.6 l VTi 85kW (115bhp) with manual or automatic gearbox
1.6 l HDi 68kW (92bhp) with manual gearbox
New 1.2 l VTi 72bhp 3-cylinder engine

The Peugeot 301 is the second vehicle of the Peugeot range, after the 208, to benefit from the new range of Euro 5 3-cylinder petrol engines (1.2 l VTi) which, due to its technology, combines driving pleasure and reduced consumption.

Reduction of the weight (-25 kg compared with a 4-cylinder engine of equivalent performance) and friction (-30%) guided the development of this compact block. The cylinder block and cylinder head are in an aluminium alloy while the exhaust manifold is integrated in the cylinder head. The balancing shaft, the variable capacity oil pump, the disengageable coolant pump and the offset of the cylinder jackets are just a few examples of the high technology which characterises this latest generation 3-cylinder engine.

Here the engine is adapted to a wider use than in Europe with the adoption of special pistons compatible with varying petrol grades (from RON 87) and a new exhaust line.

The performance of course is improved with a maximum power of 53kW (72bhp), a maximum torque of 110Nm at 3,000 rpm, with emissions of CO2 reduced to 119g/km, equivalent to only 5.2 l/100 km for the Combined Cycle.

A version of the 1.2 l VTi engine with a piloted gearbox will be added to the range during 2013.

1.6 l VTi 115 hp petrol engine

The 4-cylinder petrol block with 16-valves in a light alloy was launched with the Peugeot 408. It is fitted with an inlet camshaft with continuously variable timing system (VVT) and accepts octane indices ranging from RON 87 without any deterioration in performance.

As with the 3-cylinder engine, considerable work has been carried out to reduce friction (fine bedding in of the crankcase, piston with reduced rings, etc.). The result is a reduction in emissions of CO2, increased by the adoption of a variable output oil pump.

Its maximum power is 85kW (115bhp) and the maximum torque of 150Nm is reached at 4,000rpm. Also complying with the Euro 5 standards, this modern engine is available with a manual gearbox or an automatic gearbox.

1.6 l HDi 92bhp diesel engine

The highest production diesel engine in the world is available here in its latest Euro5 specification and in a Euro4 version for certain markets.

Developing a maximum power of 68kW (92bhp) and a torque of 230 Nmavailable from the lowest engine speeds (1,750rpm), it emits only 108g/km of CO2 equivalent to 4.1 l/100 km. This engine, both economical and powerful, is available with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Perfectly suited equipment

The numerous studies and interviews carried out with customers have made it possible to determine the most expected equipment or that most suited to the use of the customers.

As regards temperature control, the 301 can be equipped with four levels of heating/air conditioning. The manual and electronic air conditioning systems, offered according to trim level, are fitted with air ducts towards the rear seats to optimise performance. However, observation of driving habits in hot countries has led the designers to create a special 'AC Max' button which provides maximum air conditioning with a single press on the electronic air conditioning.

Of course, for the cold countries it is the electrical heating resistors, for a faster increase in temperature in the passenger compartment, and the heated seats and windscreen base which will be the most requested temperature-related equipment.

The door opening controls are also very important points for customers. Since in numerous countries the driver does not have to get out of his vehicle to fill up with fuel at a service station, the Peugeot 301 offers remote opening of the fuel filler flap as standard. A lever located inside the vehicle, on the floor on the driver's side, controls this opening. In the same way, the boot opens remotely by means of a second lever, positioned in the same location as the fuel filler flap opening lever, or by means of dedicated buttons on the dashboard and on the high frequency remote control in the case of vehicles fitted with central locking.

The latest generation electronic architecture of the Peugeot 301 (ECO 2010 type Full Can) also permits locking of the doors while driving.

Like all modern vehicles, the 301 offers, according to level, electric heated mirrors and up to four electric windows.

As regards driving assistance systems, rear parking assistance with audible and visual indication is also available, as is the cruise control/speed limiter on the Euro5 engines.

To make journeys in the new Peugeot 301 more pleasant, two types of audio system are offered in addition to the radio pre-equipment.

The RDE audio system is of the CD RDS MP3 compatible type and has a jack auxiliary socket on the control panel. It is connected to two wideband speakers, positioned on the top of the dashboard to provide good quality acoustic performance.

The RD45 top-of-the-range audio system sets itself apart with its offset jack/USB auxiliary socket, MP3 players compatible, its Bluetooth hands-free kit and the presence of two additional speakers at the rear and satellite controls behind the steering wheel. A monochrome screen situated above the audio system displays the relative information. Finally, this equipment, which delivers excellent sound quality thanks to the Arkamys acoustic signal processing, offers an audio streaming function. And thanks to the USB socket supply, it is also possible to use a smartphone and its applications during long hours spent in the vehicle.

A shrewd range construction

The philosophy of the Peugeot 301 is to adapt as much as possible to each market in which it is sold. As it has a very international sales perimeter with a presence on several continents, a number of ranges have been developed according to the country of sale and customer requirements.

A comprehensive range of accessories

In order to fulfil the expectations of 301 owners and increase the pleasure provided by the vehicle, Peugeot has developed a wide range of accessories perfectly suited to the positioning of the vehicle. In addition to the traditional items (mats, boot trays, semi-integrated GPS navigation, etc.), the following products are worth highlighting:

Personalisation

S Line - launched with the 208, this new line of Peugeot accessories with sport styling is also offered for the 301. Designed by the Peugeot style teams it is characterised by a strong and easily identifiable stylistic colour code using black punctuated with red.

This line consists of numerous accessories, both exterior and interior:

16" alloy wheels and 'S line' central cap
Lacquered black front spoiler with red edging
Quarter panel stickers: stripe or check theme, in graduated grey
Special mats: black with red edging or check with red edging
Door sill protector bearing the 'S line' logo
Interior mirror shells, black lacquer/red edging or check theme
Aluminium gear lever knob and handbrake lever;
In parallel, a range of chromed personalisation accessories, more classic and upmarket, is also offered. It consists of fog lamp trims, mirror shells and exhaust tailpipe, permitting elegant and distinctive personalisation of the vehicle thanks to their upmarket and enhancing material;

Protection and transport solutions

A comprehensive range of accessories provides perfect protection, both outside and inside the vehicle. This includes, in particular, a transparent boot sill protector for discreet protection of the loading area.

The range of transport solutions consisting of a towbar, roof bars, a roof basket (new), bicycle carriers, ski carriers and roof boxes allows a further increase in the loading capacity of the 301.

Colours and materials symbolising timeless elegance

To highlight the elegance of the 301, seven colours have been chosen to make up the range: Rich Oak, Hazelnut, Kyanos Blue, Shark Grey, Aluminium Grey, Bianca White and Onyx Black.

The colour schemes which accompany these metallic or plain colours contribute to the impression of perceived quality and reassurance of the passenger compartment of the 301. Two ambiances are offered: Mono-tone Mistral Black and two-tone Mistral Black / Lama to offer a light colour scheme, highly valued in certain markets.

A three-compartment saloon for the international market

The Peugeot 301 went on sale on 1st November 2012 in Turkey, then in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Maghreb, Middle East, Gulf and African States, certain Latin American markets then in a second phase in China.

Topics: peugeot, sedan

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