Mike Stevens | May 25, 2012

Peugeot's 301 badge has returned after nearly 80 years to grace the boot of an all-new global small sedan. And with it comes a new naming convention for the French carmaker.

While new to its boot-straps, the lines of the new sedan reflect the styling direction of the latest from the French carmaker: the 208 light hatch, the larger 508 sedan and wagon, and the new 4008 SUV.

Joining the 308 hatch, the new 301 sedan is around 200mm longer than the five-door, and rides on a 40mm longer wheelbase. Peugeot claims a class-leading storage capacity for the 301 with a 506 litre boot.

Power for the new sedan will be derived from the same petrol and diesel engines offered with the new 208. It will be the second Peugeot to list the brand's new three-cylinder engine among its powertrain options.

In all, three engines will be offered, starting with the 53kW 1.2 litre three-cylinder, and followed by the 68kW 1.6 diesel and 85kW 1.6 petrol.

2013 peugeot 301 overseas 06

Manual and automatic options will be available with the petrol engines, while the diesel will be offered in manual only.

Full details on the new car are still to be revealed, although Peugeot promises its new global small car will feature an MP3 audio system, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, rear parking assistance (likely sensors) and a remote-opening boot.

The 301 will be manufactured in Spain, with a world premiere set for September's Paris Motor Show.

Australian plans have not been announced, but with Turkey, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Maghreb, Middle East, Gulf and African States, and some Latin American markets confirmed, an Australia debut appears likely - if somewhat delayed.

Peugeot's New Nomenclature

Peugeot has also confirmed that the 301 will be the first model to carry its overhauled naming system.

New models will now no longer get a new third number with each successive generation - model numbers will be fixed.

The new 301 shown here, and all of its successors, will forever be known as the '301'. The 308, likewise, will keep its name when a new model appears, as will the next 508.

It's a small thing, but a big change for Peugeot - and a change to a long model history.

In the case of the current 208, its direct lineage can be traced back to the launch of the 201 in 1929. That name has evolved over nearly a century - ticking over one number at a time - to the 208 (although it has featured on different classes of car over those years).

Any model currently wearing a 7 at the end of its name will be succeeded one final time by an 8 - although where this will leave the current 4007 and the new (smaller) 4008 is unclear.

In the future, as it does now, the first number will represent the size of the car; the zeros will remain - also an iconic part of Peugeot's history - and the last number will remain fixed.

Lastly, any future models ending with 1 will represent affordability.

Did you get all of that? Good.

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