By Moses Akaigwe 08072100049

Nigeria’s premier auto plant, PAN Nigeria Limited, is once again poised to shake the market with the latest generation of the Peugeot 301 luxury sedans expected to enhance the brand’s current drive towards reclaiming the industry’s flagship position.

Christened 301 Midlife, the new Peugeot is aiming to follow, and surpass, the trail blazed by the present 301 model, which won the Nigerian Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) Car of the Year award in 2016.

Guests at the launch of the 301 Midlife on Thursday at the Peugeot plant in Kaduna, Kaduna State, would be glad to see that the design of the new kid on the block is not skin deep, but draws attention to the car’s array of modern technological features.

Peugeot lovers would also be glad to note that the body is dressed in the typical, but latest silhouette of the brand, with striking vertical grille.

A closer look will show that the luminous signatures, incorporating LEDs at the front, are the expression of the technological content. At the front is a powerful face with a wide vertical grille (‘Hot Chrome’ on the Allure version or ‘Chrome Pack’ on active) surrounding the brand’s lion logo.

Giving the sedan a more feline look are the lights incorporating the “tooth”. These headlamps, with black and chromed masks and LED daytime running lights integrated into the bumper, contribute to the modernity and identity of the new 301.

That also results in a retracted positioning of the bumper of the new grille for better resistance to small shocks. Laterally, any observer would easily notice a “horizontal” hood and new rims for more dynamism.

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Furthermore, the new 16 wheels highlight the dynamism of the car: The ‘Albury’ steel type is economical without compromising style, while the Perth diamond version lifts the profile of the car. At the rear is the unique look of 3-finger lights.

The new 301 Midlife’s connectivity to the driver and passengers include: A seven-inch capacitive touchscreen, speech recognition, TomTom navigation with display of elevations and level differences in three-dimensional roads.

It also flaunts Triple Play compatible mirror screen to duplicate the smartphone content on the touchscreen of the vehicle, USB connectivity and Bluetooth.

Unprecedented safety and comfort for the driver and passengers in terms of ergonomics, driving position, height adjustment of the seat and steering wheel with touch screen at the fingertips and eyes, comfortable seats ensuring lateral support and comfort on all types of roads are other strong points.

Midlife is equipped with numerous storage spaces in the passenger compartment.  A moveable trunk that offers a volume of the best in its class from 506 dm3 to 1332 dm3, thanks to the fold-able backrest and split 2/3 to 1/3 dynamic benefits worthy of the brand called Peugeot.

The rear seat backrests split 2/3 to 1/3, and can be folded down in a simple and intuitive way.

Speaking ahead of the launch, the Managing Director of PAN Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Boyi, explained that the coming of the Peugeot 301 Midlife is vital to the efforts by the management to reconnect the brand’s heritage and emotions of the ’70s and the ’80s.

“The good old days will be back again for PAN, its stakeholders and Nigerians,” Boyi said.