Peugeot will launch an all-new successor to the Peugeot 308 in 2013 — and these are the first pictures of it in testing. The model spied here in the France-Spain border region is an early chassis mule for the new car, running the body of a pre-facelift current-gen 308.
Mirroring the strategy of the soon-to-be-introduced Peugeot 208, the 308 replacement will be a much more elegant car than its predecessor. It will have more compact proportions, a reduction in body weight, a higher-quality interior and a range of three-cylinder engines.
Autocar understands that the car is set to be called the Peugeot 301, not 309. Sources have indicated that it is too soon to resurrect the 309 nameplate, which only disappeared in the 1990s. The 301 name was last used by Peugeot in the 1930s.
The car will share its platform with the Citroën C4 and DS4 models. As these spy pictures indicate, the 301 will be shorter than the 308 and slightly wider. It will also be subtly lower than the 308, a feature that will be emphasised in its styling, which will take cues from the 208 supermini and SR1 concept car.
Sources claim that there will be no three-door version of the 301. Instead, the five-door (codenamed T91) will be given sportier styling to compensate for the lack of a three-door. There will also be a five-door SW estate (T92) and a four-door saloon (T93) in some markets.
Another model absent from the 301 line-up will be the CC coupé-cabriolet model. That car will be replaced by a retractable hard-top version of the Peugeot RCZ, a car based on the current 308 platform.
The engine line-up will include Peugeot’s new three-cylinder petrol engine family, scheduled for launch in the 208. A 100bhp 1.0-litre turbo unit is likely to be the entry-level engine.
Also earmarked for the 301 is a wider roll-out of Peugeot’s e-HDI diesel micro-hybrid technology. Expect CO2 emissions for most of the 301 range to dip below 100g/km.