The Most Comprehensive Model Series in Peugeot History Has Been Leading Its Class for 10 Generations

The Most Comprehensive Model Series in Peugeot History Has Been Leading Its Class for 10 Generations
The Most Comprehensive Model Series in Peugeot History Has Been Leading Its Class for 10 Generations

📩 15/02/2022 14:36

The success story that started with the PEUGEOT 301 in 1932 continues with the modern and stylish design of the new PEUGEOT 300, the latest member of the 308 Series, the most comprehensive product line in PEUGEOT history. From the 301 to the new PEUGEOT 308, 10 generations and 90 years of history reveal the technical progress of automotive history. The only skipped generation in its 90-year history was the PEUGEOT 303, due to World War II, with the only exception to the successive model numbers was the 305, which was launched between the 306 and 309. The 300 Series has won two "Car of the Year" titles and notable rally successes that few models have ever achieved.

PEUGEOT's 300 series models continue to be one of the most admired series in automotive history for many years as a family car with their compact dimensions, suitable for urban use and wide living spaces. With the exception of the PEUGEOT 309 produced at the Poissy plant and the new generation model produced in Mulhouse, all series production models have been produced at the historic PEUGEOT plant in Sochaux for the past 90 years.

Suitable for every need

Considering the effects of the ongoing economic crisis, PEUGEOT first introduced the PEUGEOT 1932 model, which was produced as a coupe, convertible and roadster, which was easily accessible to customers who care about details, between 1936 and 301. 301 units were produced with the 35, 1.465 hp engine of 70.500 cc.

The success of aerodynamics

The PEUGEOT 302, on the other hand, took its place on the market in 1936 and 1938 units were produced until 25.100. The 302 hit the road at a time when the importance of aerodynamics was discovered in the automotive world. Starting with the PEUGEOT 402, it had an aerodynamic front design with integrated headlights behind the radiator grille. With the great success of the PEUGEOT 402, the brand decided to use the same line in the PEUGEOT 302. Considering the period when this vehicle was produced, it could reach an impressive maximum speed of 100 km / h.

The negative impact of the war and then the shining success of 304

World War II also hit production of the 300 Series, and the PEUGEOT 303 was discontinued. The French brand's 300 Series was suspended for three decades until the PEUGEOT 1969, which was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 304. The 304 was produced with numerous bodywork options to meet every need. These bodyworks included sedan, coupe, convertible, station wagon and multi-purpose station. The PEUGEOT 304 aimed at the compact class, keeping the technical foundation of the PEUGEOT 204. It had a different front design than the 204 with its vertical grille. The PEUGEOT 304 had the same wheelbase as the 204. The rear, modernized with trapezoidal lighting units, was similar to the PEUGEOT 504. It offered ample living space, as it should be in a family car.

Approximately 1969 units of the 1979 were produced between 304 and 1.200.000 and were a huge commercial success. Between 1970 and 1972, PEUGEOT also introduced the 304 model to the market in the United States. Refitted in 1973, the coupe and convertible versions were discontinued in 1975, while the sedan version remained in production until 1979.

Superior handling and Pininfarina signature

The PEUGEOT 305 was launched in Europe in 1977 as a successor to the PEUGEOT 304. There were two body types: a 4-door sedan and a 5-door station wagon with a double folding rear seat. There was also a commercial version of the station wagon body type designed in cooperation with Pininfarina. The PEUGEOT 305 offered an advanced version of the 304 platform and 1.3 liter petrol engine. It was distinguished from its competitors with its front-wheel drive, transverse engine and 4 independent suspensions. With its superior handling, spacious interior and high-class comfort, it quickly gained a place in the competition, which became more difficult. More than 1,6 million units were produced with all body types.

The PEUGEOT 305 Sedan formed the basis of the VERA experimental program designed to improve the fuel efficiency of next-generation cars. The first VERA 1981 prototype, introduced in 01, had a 20% reduction in weight and a 30% reduction in aerodynamic drag. The VERA program, which has been working on engines for more than 5 years, had a significant impact on the development of the brand's 405 and later 605 models. With the arrival of the PEUGEOT 309 in 1985, sales of the 1989 model, which remained in production until 305, slowed.

From the creators of the compact class

Produced in Spain and England between 1985 and 1994, the PEUGEOT 309 was one of the first true compact cars in the modern sense. It was no longer a traditional 304-door sedan like the 305 and 4, but a 5-door hatchback. With a length of 4,05 m, it was 305 cm shorter than the 19. It had a design inspired by Talbot Horizon but with a style of its own. While using the platform and doors of the PEUGEOT 205, the front and rear sections were kept long and had a curved rear window that emphasized the hatchback style.

The 5, which started out as a 309-door version, was produced two years later in 1987 with a 3-door version. The 309 GTI used the 205 liter 1.9 hp engine of the 130 GTI. The 309 GTI accelerated from 0-100 km/h in just 8 seconds and reached a top speed of 205 km/h. The 309 GTI was equipped with the MI1989 405 hp engine of the PEUGEOT 16 in 160 and continued on its way as the 309 GTI 16 as a compact athlete that gave its rivals a tough time. The 309's career ended in 1994 with sales of over 1,6 million units.

Beautiful and athletic

The PEUGEOT 306 was introduced in February 1993. The 306 replaced the PEUGEOT 309. It quickly became the best-selling model in its class, and by 2002 it was produced at at least 9 plants around the world. The model, which hit the road in 1993 as 3 and 5 doors, was later offered for sale as a sedan and in 1994 as a convertible body. Designed and manufactured by Pininfarina, this vehicle was named the "Most Beautiful Convertible of the Year" at the 1994 Geneva Motor Show and then the "Convertible of the Year" in 1998. Setting standards in its class with its handling features, the PEUGEOT 306 was also offered as sporty versions such as PEUGEOT 306 XSI and PEUGEOT 306 S16. The 285 hp MAXI version enabled PEUGEOT to return to rally in 10 after a 1996-year hiatus. In 1996 and 1997, it won the French Rally Championship with Gilles Panizzi. By winning some asphalt races of the World Rally Championship, such as in Corsica in 1997 and 1998, it was able to push much more powerful rally cars.

The 306 was refurbished in 1997 and got a station wagon version in the same year. Production of the 306- and 3-door versions of the 5 ended in 2001 with the introduction of the PEUGEOT 307. The station wagon version was produced until 2002, while the convertible version continued to be produced by Pininfarina until 2003.

“Car of the Year” PEUGEOT 307

The PEUGEOT 2001, which was introduced to the market in 2002 and named "Car of the Year" in 307, achieved great success, with more than 3,5 million productions worldwide. It featured new modular architecture, offered better living space, and had a surprisingly large, sloping windshield. Apart from 3-door, 5-door and station wagon versions, a new member joined the product range in 2003. The Coupe Convertible (CC) version transferred the innovative concept successfully implemented in the 206 CC to the compact segment. With its retractable metal roof and 4-seater interior, the 307 CC was one of the largest convertibles of those years.

The first step to perfection

The first generation PEUGEOT 308 replaced the PEUGEOT 2007 in 307. This was followed by the second generation in 2013, while the third generation 308 was introduced in 2021.

While the PEUGEOT 308 I was introduced to the market as 3-door, 5-door and station wagon, the Coupe Convertible (CC) version was included in the product range in March 2009. In 2007, the 308 RCZ Coupe version was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and soon after it was approved for mass production, it went on sale under the name PEUGEOT RCZ. The 2+2 seat coupe, which is loved for its dynamic driving character as well as its sporty design, was produced between 2010 and 2015, with 68.000 units. The fastest version of the family completed the 270-0 km/h acceleration in 100 seconds with 5,9 hp.

The PEUGEOT 308 II was introduced in 2013. Like the 12 model 307 years ago, the 308 II was named "Car of the Year" in 2014. Its design stood out with its simple and elegant lines, liveliness and dynamic driving characteristics as well as its more compact dimensions and reduced weight. The passenger compartment was also new, with the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit also used in the PEUGEOT 208. The compact steering wheel, which reduces movements while driving, facilitated city driving and provided a unique driving feeling. The GTI version further improved the driving characteristics and dynamism of the 308, which brought PEUGEOT into a new era of success. 308 million units of the first two generations of PEUGEOT 7 were sold.

Produced at the Mulhouse factory, the PEUGEOT 308 III proudly carries the new PEUGEOT logo introduced in February 2021 with its new brand identity. With its attractive, technological and efficient structure, the new generation PEUGEOT 308 stands out as one of the 2022 Car of the Year finalists, the results of which will be announced at the end of February 2022.

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