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Paris show: Peugeot's pointer to the future

Innovative: Although futuristic in style, the Prometheus derives its inspiration from Peugeot's pre-war 402 Estate.

Peugeot aims to stop traffic at the Paris motor show with the retro-inspired Prometheus

Peugeot logo26 Sep 2000

By GAUTAM SHARMA

PEUGEOT'S futuristic Prometheus concept will be the centrepiece of its stand at the upcoming Paris motor show.

European sources suggest the Prometheus provides a strong indication of what the 306 replacement will look like, but Peugeot Concessionaires Australia spokesman Mr James Cleary says this is pure speculation.

The successor to the 306, widely tipped to wear the 307 badge, will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show next March and goes on sale here in late 2001.

Meanwhile, Peugeot is making a big song and dance about the Prometheus, which harks back to the "Woody" version of the pre-war Peugeot 402 Estate.

But while the 402 featured wood panelling on its flanks, the Prometheus uses polished aluminium with a light satin finish.

It is packed with a host of technical innovations, including the latest evolution of Peugeot's High-pressure Direct-Injection (HDi) diesel engine.

The car has three doors and a tailgate. The infra-red remote-controlled driver's door slides forward to give access to the driver's seat or backward for entry to the rear seats.

Prometheus rides on huge 21-inch, seven-spoke, alloy wheels fitted with Michelin PAX run-flat tyres, eliminating the need for a spare wheel.

The interior provides generous space for four people, but can easily be transformed into a two-seater wagon.

High-tech features inside include a multimedia area with a colour screen for on-board navigation and phone access.

A long central console extends as far as the centre of the rear seats, providing storage space as well as other services such as a DVD player serving two screens, one in the back of each front-seat.

Upgrades across the range Meanwhile, Peugeot has upgraded the specification levels of all Australian-spec models - from the entry-level 206 hatch to the 406 flagship.

All 206 variants gain a centre lap-sash seatbelt in the rear, while the base model also benefits from standard air-conditioning.

The sporty 206 GTI receives detail improvements such as a brushed aluminium fuel cap cover, alloy step guard and white-faced instruments.

Further up the scale, the 306 XT Hatch is now fitted with ABS and Peugeot's Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD) system as standard.

It also picks up Laser design alloy wheels (previously fitted to the XSi).

The (petrol) XT Sedan is now available as a four-speed automatic only and is also fitted with ABS and EBFD as standard.

The 306 XSi five-door sports hatch gains the EBFD brake system (ABS already standard), front side airbags, new trim with leather bolsters on the cushion and backrest, and Cyclone design alloy wheels.

The 306 Style and GTI 6 have been deleted from the range.

Equipment upgrades to the 406 ST and turbo-diesel 406 ST HDi include 15-inch alloy wheels, front centre armrests, a remote stereo control stalk on the steering column, cruise-control, front side airbags and a multi-function trip computer.

The 406 SV now features full leather trim, metallic paint, six-disc CD stacker and an elctro-chromatic rear view mirror.

A few tweaks to the 24-valve V6 engine have boosted power by 10 percent (157kW at 6000rpm) and torque by seven percent (285Nm at 3750 rpm).

The 406 Estate has been deleted from the range.

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