• Oct 29th 2010 at 7:59AM
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Peugeot 308 GTI – Click above for high-res image gallery

Some automakers call their cars by name. Others give them alphanumeric designations. The trouble with the latter is that, if you follow a formula, sooner or later the sequence is going to either run out or repeat itself. That's the issue that Peugeot is looking at with the next generation of its popular hatchback range.

The current model is called the 308, so it would follow logically that its successor be called the 309. After that the French automaker would have to either abandon the traditional _0_ naming scheme that identifies all its products (and the _00_ for minivans and crossovers) and dip into the _1_ range, but even before that comes up, Peugeot's facing the issue that it already produced a model called the 309 between 1985 and 1993.

Rather than reuse the same nameplate, sources speculate that Peugeot could go for a name designation like it did with the RCZ coupe. The formula would likely follow across the range, leaving sister-company Citroën to stick with its alphanumeric C_ and DS_ naming scheme.

[Source: Autobild via World Car Fans]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought Mazda firmly established that the stupid grin look grill was a loser for a car design...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm glad to see this. The whole letter/number thing has gotten out of hand. I mean, I realize why these companies do it, but I'm still not a big fan. I think it works on established models (like ze Germans), but some companies just can't pull it off. Take Lincoln, for example. Can anybody keep the MK_ names straight? Even the guys on the Autoblog podcast the other day couldn't keep them straight. It gets more confusing when companies change an existing model name. Mazda is a great example. I used to weird looks with the 6. "It's a Mazda 6" "626?" "No, just a 6"

      Having a real name gives customers something to identify. Would the Accord and Camry be as successful if they were just a letter and/or number? The average car buyer probably can't tell you the difference between a BMW 3,5, or 7 series, but I bet most of them (in the US) know what a Mustang or Corvette is.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Peugeot Fromage...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Numeric nomenclature makes sense to a point, I like Mazda's 2, 3, 5, 6... the good thing is, it stops there.

        I hate when the basic number is followed by an engine code that, often, doesn't indicate the size of the engine. Peugeot has the middle ZERO (0) protected (hence it's Porsche 911 not 901 as Ferdinand wanted). But expanding zeros in the middle has the boundaries. What's worse, Peugeot let 206 and the replacement 207 coexist, adding to confusion.

        With names you run the risk of being rude in different languages (look up Mitsubishi Pajero...) or end up naming cars with names like Impala, Polo or Palio.... or Morono... you can't win here. Civic is a great name on the other hand. Legend? Not so much.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mattias: Great example! As I said, they should go with Fromage.

        Peugeot needs to Focus and decide what is its Alpha and Omega of nomenclature.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bravo, Peugot!

        Now, if only Acura and Lincoln would follow suit...
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The Talbot Arizona had to be rebadged as Peugeot, but the 305 was too young to replace... So the Talbot with the hatch was called 309."

        The 309 replaced the Chrysler/Talbot Horizon (the car which spawned the Plymouth Horizon in North America). Indeed, it used many of the Talbot Horizon's mechanicals and engines.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Very funny!

        Indeed, this is a good idea. I am so tired of the alpha numeric nomenclature on everything. It works great for some brands, particularly the Germans, but for the majority I prefer the names.

        Acura and Lincoln, in particular, do an abysmal job of using alpha numeric and both had cool vehicle 'names' before changing course.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Giving up model names for meaningless letters may be a bad idea (hello, Acura, Pontiac and Lincoln), but for brands that have always used numbers, it seems part of their character.

      I guess Peugeot's mistake was developing a nomenclature system that would run out of numbers before they ran out of business. They should either reset the clock (start over with a new 301, for example) or put some more thought into how to expand it without losing its character (the double-zeros seemed like a good start...why limit that to the MPVs?). Kinda like Saab managed with 99 > 900 > 9000 > 9-3 and 9-5...there's gotta be a solution that won't give us a 2012 Peugeot Panetière.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I gotta say, in general, I prefer numbers/letters and combinations opposed to actual names. Often times, automakers turn to just cheesy or lame names for their cars, even though names often provide better brand recognition. The letter/number combinations often provide more "sophistication" to the model than some of these names. Think Pontiac. Sunfire/Grand Am/Grand Prix vs. G3/G5/G6/G8.

      It's spilling over into trim levels, too. The Dodge Nitro's trims are the Heat/Detonator/Shock. The Avenger's midrange is Express. Caliber has Express/Heat/Mainstreet/Rush/Uptown. The Caravan has Hero and Crew as their two mid-levels... Obviously Dodge is the most egregious with this, but at least they kept the Charger/Challenger alone (for now). But I think you get my point.

      Just stick with numbers and letters, please. I don't need names to recognize your car. :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        They’re fine on European cars, but to me it just comes across being faux pretentious and trying-too-hard-to-be European when other manufacturers start using alphanumeric names. Hyundai has switched to alphanumeric names outside North America, killing off Sonata et all in favour of names like i10, i20, i30, i40 and they just sound so bland and forgettable to me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If the numbers make some kind-of sense, perhaps!

        Ferrari 512 was a 5 litre boxing 12 and its 308 GTS was a 3.0 litre V-8 Spyder (well almost!), while the BMW 535 was a '5' with a 3.5 litre engine, etc.

        But when BMW went all weird with the numbers not matching engines and MB went crazy with letters, etc. I began to feel they were just using big, impressive numbers without any meaning, so they might as well been generic names.

        Like good names, though: Charger, Viper, Mustang...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Idiots...when are manufacturers going to fire the people that actually think the name, short of naming a car the TURD or NIPPLE, will make a difference in sales? Who cares??
      They waste valid manpower that could be put to use in much more tangible and consumer worthy ways.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I welcome the idea of just naming cars nowadays, since every car company is trying to sound "European," no matter how sh***y their products are. At the end of the day, I'll remember the cars that deserve to be remembered...For instance, I know what an M3 is, and an M45 sorta makes the cut, but I'm not gonna spend a long time being worried about an MDX, MKZ,MKS,MKT, MK(X?), blah blah blah.

      Peugeot should stay away from names like RCZ too. That could be an Acura or a trim level for just about any other car
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just want to rename the RCZ "MINE!"
      • 4 Years Ago
      so what that there was a 309?
      Honda has had an Accord for over 20 years, so has Ford done with the Taurus
      just keep it the same even for the new model
      it matters not that by the name you must also get the year of production
      who cares
      • 4 Years Ago
      The "_1_" pattern would probably raise Porsche's ire, ironic, since Peugeot went after Porsche when they originally intended the 911 to be called the 901.

      I still like "Jimmy" as a name and really wish I'd had one as a kid, along with a girlfriend named Elaine, just so I could say "Jimmy likes Elaine".
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, no period between "...ire,..." and "...ironic,...". Feeling lazy today. Not enought coffee and the end of a strange week...

        Here's the period... "."
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