Iranian automaker Iran Khodro (IKCO) has launched new Peugeot Pars automatic and diesel 206 SD models, becoming the first Iranian carmaker to produce diesel-powered passenger cars.

IKCO said the launch of the new models would meet demand for such variants in both domestic and export markets.

The company also plans to introduce an automatic Samand by mid-March. That model will also have a redesigned interior.

The automatic Pars has PSA's 1.6-litre TU5 engine combined with the four-speed, electronically controlled AL4 automatic transmission with winter start-off mode. ICKO's version of the TU5 develops 108hp and the car has a maximum speed of 187km/h and takes 14.2s to reach 100km/h (62mph) from rest. Fuel consumption is 8.15 litres/100km on the combined test cycle.

The automatic model has updated cooling system, electricals and electronics, wiring harness, instrument cluster and engine/gearbox mounts.

It is the first Iranian-produced automatic car in classes C and D that meets Euro IV emissions standards. Annual production capacity is planned at about 20,000 units.

The diesel 206 SD has a 68hp 1.4-litre engine developing 160Nm of torque. Maximum speed is 170km/h and the 0-100 km/h sprint takes 14.4sec. Fuel consumption is 5.4l/100km in urban driving and 3.7l/100km on the highway. The combined figure is 4.3l/100km.

IKCO said the diesel model can go an third further on a tank of fuel than the 1.4-litre petrol models it also produces.

Volume production has just begun and annual output of 7,000 to 10,000 units is planned.

Export markets will include Algeria (where demand is expected to be particularly strong), Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Algeria, Morocco, Albania, Tunisia, Croatia, Serbia and Azerbaijan.

Sajjad Valadi (valady@gmail.com)