© Peugeot/L’Aventure Peugeot
Marketed in France from February 18, 1993, the Peugeot 306 is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year. An exhibition is also dedicated to it at the Peugeot Adventure Museum in Sochaux, until January 7, 2024. The opportunity to return to this oh-so emblematic model of the lion brand, which at the time required no less than 5.6 billion francs of investment, including 1.8 billion in study costs and 800 million in specific investments in the production centers of the ;era. Earlier this year, the firm celebrated the 40th anniversary of another flagship model: the 205.
The French gendarmerie in the Peugeot 306 S16!
The oldest certainly remember it, but there was a time when the national gendarmerie had a Peugeot 306 based on the very sporty S16 Phase 2. A model designed for interceptions, with a power of 167 hp. tune 6-speed gearbox.
The models intended for law enforcement were obviously equipped with appropriate markings, a fixed or removable rotating beacon, a communications radio and a second interior rear-view mirror. In total, Peugeot will supply around 80 306 S16 models, between 1998 and 2000.
A national rally star… and international!
In the mid-90s, as part of the Paris Motor Show, Peugeot presented a Maxi version of its 306, with 290 hp. In 1996 and 1997, the Peugeot 360 Maxi, driven by Gilles Panizzi, won the title of French Rally Champion.
© Peugeot Sport
The following year, the Peugeot 306 Maxi comes to compete in the very prestigious WRC championship (World Rally Championship), with a good second place at the Tour de Corse, obtained by François Delecour.
The car was also a star in video games, the Peugeot 306 Maxi being featured in very popular games at the time, such as V-Rally or SEGA Rally 2, but it is also found in more modern games, like in DiRT4 or DiRT Rally 2.0.
Peugeot 306: a model of longevity!
Even if today it becomes increasingly rare to come across a Peugeot 306 on our roads, the model nevertheless remains an example of reliability and longevity.
Indeed, many models have several hundred thousand kilometers on the clock, the Peugeot 360 having always benefited from very simplified and inexpensive maintenance. Likewise, the mechanics themselves allowed (and still allows) owners to “get your hands dirty” to carry out the most basic operations.
In the 1990s, the Peugeot 306 was omnipresent, on the roads of course, but also in magazines and on the television. The French giant is increasing its marketing campaigns, including some very catchy slogans, such as “On should always compare your car to a 306“, or even “< em>When you see it, you want it“.
In 1994, Peugeot also called on the American singer Ray Charles to promote its 306 Cabriolet, not hesitating to use this same slogan in passing.
For its part, the 306 S16 benefited from the slogan “It's like the cavalry, it always arrives on time“, while Peugeot had fun mocking the competition in rallying, to promote its 306 Maxi by indicating: “ ;Monte Carlo: some go there to have a drink on the terrace, others, a drink in the mountain.”
An Eden Park version, with shaped headrests… rugby ball!
In 1998, the French brand Eden Park arrived in France, with a chic and trendy side, but above all a very rugby-oriented affiliation. It takes its name from the All Blacks stadium in New Zealand. Two years after the launch of its new model, in 1995, Peugeot decided to release its popular 306 in a limited Eden Park version, of only 1,500 units.
© Peugeot Catalog/Carjager
A particularly well-equipped model (14' rims, air conditioning, airbag, half-leather upholstery, floor mats with metal plate, electric tinted windows) and which benefits from a massive marketing campaign. But one of the particularities of this model, which is extremely rare today, is the presence of shaped headrests. rugby balls! Not necessarily in very good taste, some would say, but that did not prevent the success of this edition.
Because for Peugeot, it's a hit, the 1,500 copies sold ;sell in record time, which motivates the brand to become a sponsor of Stade Toulousain, then to integrate the “Eden Park” to its range (806, 106…).
In total, Peugeot will produce around 3 million of its 306, with three distinct phases, and production spread from 1993 to 2002. Today 8217;today, the firm is giving pride of place to electric vehicles, notably with its new (and very popular) Peugeot e-208.