The Iranian car maker Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO), best known for keeping the Hillman Hunter in production for almost 30 years after British assembly stopped, has launched a brand-new, locally-designed saloon called the Samand.

The new car will eventually replaced the Hunter-based Peykan which was designed in the 1960s though the Iranian version has been extensively modified over the years.

An IKCO spokesman told that the Samand had been engineered to deliver high standards of ride comfort, handling and performance, and to meet growing Iranian customer expectations.

Designed by IKCO’s in house, R&D centre, the Samand has a 1761cc fuel-injected engine (shared with the Peugeot 405 IKCO also builds) coupled to a five-speed manual gearbox. The engine develops 105bhp at 6000 rpm with a fuel consumption of 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres.