The four-generation-old Peugeot 405 has been given a new lease of life in a deal that will see about 10,000 built every year - for a bargain price.
An agreement between the French car maker and Azerbaijan-based producer Khazar will see lightly modernised 405s sold as Peugeot Khazar 406s after a similar deal based in Iran expired. The Iraqi firm switched to the mod-cons of the actual 406.
The 405 was first launched in 1987 and marketed in the UK as the car that would ‘take your breath away,’ at least according to one of the most fondly-remembered but technically rubbish car adverts ever made.
In the YouTube clip above, a 405 can be seen driving alongside a burning field as the driver sportily shifts down the laughably long-throw gearbox and powers through the flames of an actual explosion. If you’re not old enough to remember watching it yourself, trust us: to a car-happy five-year-old, this advert was the king.
The ‘new’ version has been brought up to speed ever-so-slightly. The Azerbaijani 405 will come with either a fuel-injected 1.8-litre petrol engine with about 99bhp or a turbodiesel with 104bhp. Compatible automatic gearboxes are standard, for ponderous but reliable shifting. Buyers can enjoy climate control, electric front seats and at least two airbags. Gasp! There are even rear parking sensors on some cars.
The Peugeot Khazar ‘406’ (you’re not fooling anyone, guys) will be sold for 17,500 Azerbaijani Manat, which at the time of writing is about £7830. That’s about the same as an air-con-equipped Dacia Sandero Essential. We’re surely not the only ones actually quite tempted by the 405?
In the late 1980s and 1990s the 405 was built in the deceased Ryton factory in Coventry, England. The same plant later built the 306 and 206, but after Peugeot decided in 2004 not to build the upcoming 207 in the UK, the writing was on the wall for Ryton. It closed in December 2006 and was demolished almost a year later. The site is now owned by Network Rail, which built a haulage distribution centre there in 2012.