French fashion is at the forefront of the industry, and the same goes for French cuisine and French wine. But when it comes to cars, France's auto industry can hook you up (assuming you live overseas) with economical hatchbacks and minivans, but that's just about it until you get to the seven-figure Bugatti Veyron. Which is owned by a bunch of German fellows. That gigantic gap is apparently one which Citroën hopes to plug with its new DS line.
Citroën launched its premium initiative with the DS Inside Concept at the Geneva Motor Show this past March, and the French automaker has a whole range of premium vehicles lined up. Now Citroën has released the production version of the first model in the line, and it looks pretty darn close to the concept. In fact, the only thing they seemed to have changed from the show car to the production model is the exhaust – switched from twin pipes to a single tip – and the radio antenna, which goes with a conventional aerial instead of the concept's fin. Otherwise – and overall – Citroën appears to have managed the transition from concept to production in exceptionally smooth style – even retaining the showcar's unique fin-like B-pillar treatment.
The compact premium hatch shares its underpinnings with the new C3, only with a touch more class. Like a custom-tailored French suit, buyers can specify a whole range of color choices, extending beyond the usual exterior and interior shades to include the roof color, door mirror housings, dashboard trims, wheel hubs and more.
Power choices include two diesels (90 or 110 horsepower, respectively) and three gasoline engines (95, 120 or 150 horsepower), with five- or six-speed manuals. Mini and Fiat ought to take notice, and you can check out the full details in the press release after the jump and the images in the high-res mega gallery below.
CITROËN DS3: THE CHARM OFFENSIVE
Citroën is revealing the CITROËN DS3!
A few months ahead of its showroom debut, the DS3 is inaugurating the DS line in style. The new DS line will feature a range of distinctive models with more radical design content, rounding out the Marque's main range. As its name suggests, the new line is a further symbol of CITROËN creativity and technology.
The DS3 is an assertive vehicle with radical good looks that customers can personalise with a broad range of styling components. A breath of fresh air and modernity, the newcomer's dynamic on-road performance successfully blends efficiency and peace of mind, while the intelligence of its design makes for a modular car that adapts to all situations.
The DS3 forges a new path...
... by placing desire at the heart of the motoring experience:
With its sculptural styling and striking lines, the DS3 exudes enormous appeal. It is a truly distinctive vehicle with a strong personality built on original creations including a 'floating' roof, a 'shark fin' that lends vigour to the waistline, and recesses on the nose housing LED lights.
A concentrate of energy, the DS3 also features a unique onboard atmosphere where elegance and technology meet and marks of quality abound. The sophisticated instrumentation – with three conical dials on the cluster – driver-focused commands, low-set driving position and body-hugging seats lend a cockpit feel. Chrome trim further enhances the overall sense of vitality with luxury and distinction.
... through its vivacious, distinctive design:
The DS3 is in fact not one but a multitude of vehicles, that each person can create in his or her fashion. Exterior personalisation components include the roof, body, rearview mirror housings and wheels. Inside, customers get a choice of dashboard strip, gearstick knob and a host of other interior equipment with a panoply of colours, fabrics and materials. And for the ultimate in bespoke motoring, customers can select from seven innovative personalisation themes reflecting different trends and lifestyles. The DS3 is a highly personal and categorically singular vehicle.
... by providing a thoroughly modern take on driving pleasure:
The DS3 is also a stand-out on the road, combining driving pleasure and everyday ease of use. Nimble and energetic, the DS3 brings the driver "closer" to the road for effortless cornering. For Vincent Besson, Director of Products and Markets Strategy at PSA, "driving the DS3 is like having the wheels at your fingertips". The DS3's on-road assurance gives it crisp reactions and top-level control and safety. And travelling comfort sets a new standard in the segment.
The newcomer's CO2 emissions are fully in line with CITROËN'S environmental leadership, coming in as low as 99 g/km. It will ship with a choice of five carbon-efficient Euro V engines:
- 2 HDi DPFS units developing 110 bhp and 90 bhp,
- 3 petrol engines with the THP 150, VTi 120 and VTi 95.
CITROËN also made remarkable efforts to keep the weight of the DS3 to a strict minimum, while using a new development plan to ensure robustness. Manufactured in France at the Poissy plant, it benefits from all of PSA's production system approaches, for exemplary overall quality.
... by making owners' everyday lives a charm:
Another innovative aspect of the DS3 is that its sleek body styling disguises an impressively versatile hatchback. It gets the most out of its exterior dimensions (3.95 m long, 1.71 m wide and 1.46 high) through particularly intelligent architecture. For example, the dashboard is set high up to increase leg room and the slim-back seats and estate car-style rear design free up room in the back. These design feats bring customers five real seats, extensive stowage space (including a 13-litre glove box) and a capacious boot (285 l) with a modular, 60:40 split-fold rear bench.
The DS3 also appeals to the senses with the HiFi System, worthy of latest-generation home systems. On top of these in-car features, CITROËN has added a dedicated services offering for DS3 owners, CITROËN FREEDRIVE, which, among other things, ensures that customers benefit from a replacement vehicle during DS3 servicing.
CITROËN DS3: THE CHARM OFFENSIVE
Unique personality that appeals with original styling
Distinctive atmosphere through extreme attention to detail, with premium materials
Broad and innovative personalisation range, with diverse components and seven original personalisation schemes
Feeling the road
Road manners mixing pleasure and control with classic CITROËN ride comfort
Environmental credentials in line with CITROËN's leadership in the field: a 99 g/km version and remarkable work on weight control
Taming the road with ESP and six standard-fit airbags
Irreproachable reliability: robust design process and production in France at the Poissy site
Making everyday life a charm
The first supermini to do elegant and practical at the same time: 5 real seats, a huge boot (285 l) and a 60:40 split-fold bench
CITROËN creativity ensuring a total sensory experience, with acoustic comfort worthy of superior segments
A range of DS line-dedicated services, CITROËN FREEDRIVE, to satisfy the most demanding customers
Unique personality that appeals with original styling
The CITROËN DS3 styling team worked with three keywords in mind: surprise, appeal and vitality. The result of their labours is a muscular yet sensual body, compact, dynamic and nuanced by refined chrome trim. This is an expressive object that stirs the desire to travel.
Creativity inhabits each feature of the DS3, witnessed first of all in the floating roof and the B pillar "shark fin" effect. The pure lines of the DS3 exude pleasure and appeal: the dynamic front end suggests all-new driving sensations and the estate car-style rear promises a spacious cabin, while the exquisite finish of each part of the body brings a premium feel to the whole. The styling is radical, with LEDs nestled in the side recesses on the front end. Sitting squarely on its wheels, the DS3 also has a reassuring look.
This same singular impression of measured energy and elegance also applies inside, where each part is elegantly cut and integrated, and assembled with extreme attention to detail. The 'aerial' upper part of the flowing dashboard echoes the floating roof. The overall horizontal aspect is enhanced by a strip running the entire width of the dashboard, from front passenger to driver. The driving position is cockpit-inspired, with all displays and driving controls within easy reach of the driver. The instrument cluster, with three conical dials, together with the small-diameter wheel and low-slung, body-hugging seats together convey an emphatic sporty character.
The premium atmosphere onboard the DS3 is enhanced by luxury materials worked in a harmonious whole.
Each piece of material charms the eye and feels good to the touch:
Thermo-coated components such as the dashboard top are finished in an organic, soft grain that contrasts with the smooth, lacquered effect of the dashboard strip.
The upholstery is equally prestigious, with finely overstitched leather available in three colours rounding out a range of refined, contemporary fabrics.
Some components are highlighted with generous chrome trim, including the DS badge on the steering wheel and button surrounds. Depending on trim level, some of the chrome work is satin-finished, combining the brilliance and richness of the material with the purity and elegance of the colour. These features embody a certain idea of French-style luxury.
The aesthetics of the DS3 are available in a multitude of possibilities. The range of colours and materials and the variety of combinations bring a touch of modernity to the segment.
According to the customer's wishes:
the roof can be painted in four colours that contrast with the rest of the body: Onyx black, Opale white, Botticelli blue and Carmen rouge;
rearview mirror housings and door sills can be clothed in colour or chrome;
wheels and wheel centres ship in a near-infinite range of colours.
Inside, the dashboard strip – encompassing air vents, instrument cluster surround and multifunction screens – is the largest design-scheme component and comes in a choice of 8 finishes.
The gearstick knob ships in seven different trims, blending satin-finish chrome with the brilliance of the colour and leather.
Customers can choose from all these different design-scheme components to make their own unique vehicle. And in a symbolic touch, the key plip features a disc in the same colour as the body paint, so that people always have a little piece of their DS3 on them!
To further emphasise the premium character of the DS3, CITROËN will be proposing several personalisation themes, with design schemes corresponding to lifestyles and trends and consisting of exterior and interior styling touches. The following seven offers will be proposed, with the first four available on launch:
FEELING THE ROAD
Strong character for total peace of mind
The DS3 provides an all-new, resolutely modern driving experience combining verve and control. Responsive and assertive, the DS3 also sets new standards on ride comfort and behind-the-wheel pleasure.
Essentials behind this on-road performance:
The chassis and running gear, with MacPherson-type suspension at the front and a flexible traverse beam at the rear, are the result of high-precision development work.
Springing and damping have been developed to perfectly "read" the road, with excellent body roll control and impressive poise in corners, while remaining easy to handle.
Bi-density shims on the rear axle effectively filter out road disturbances while ensuring excellent cross-wise stability.
Steering is enhanced by a small-diameter wheel (363 mm) and a calibrated power setting to send back extremely precise information. This enables drivers to "place" the wheels exactly where they want, whatever the speed.
Development work, which also extended to seats and tyres, has ensured perfect course stability, bringing drivers a reassuring feel of control.
Because a good car needs a good engine, the DS3 comes with five Euro V powerplants that score high on refinement, flexibility and performance:
2 HDi DPFS engines developing 90 bhp and 110 bhp mated to a 5- or 6-speed manual gearbox,
3 petrol engines fitted with 5- and 6-speed manual gearboxes: the THP 150, VTi 120 – also available with an automatic gearbox – and VTi 95.
In line with CITROËN's environmental objectives
Because driving pleasure also has to be a responsible pleasure, the CITROËN DS3 was designed to for increased environmental respect. Its CO2 emissions are fully in line with the environmental leadership and commitments of CITROËN. Over a combined cycle, the HDi DPFS versions all emit less than 115 g/km of CO2 – with a model at 99 g/km – while the petrol-powered DS3s emit between 136 g/km and 160 g/km.
Looking beyond powerplant performance, these environmental results were achieved through a keen focus on keeping the DS3's weight down, with designers looking at every possible source for mass reduction. This objective was factored in right from the start of the project:
The specifications for Styling included architectural constraints targeting weight loss and safety, for example, the choice of a rectilinear rather than angled dashboard cross-member.
This approach was supplemented by "part by part" analysis, with designers reducing the weight of parts with equivalent technological content.
In addition, digital calculations were used across the board to define and test these parts (for stiffness, acoustics, etc.), optimising not just the mass but the technical quality of each component. For example, the rear suspension on the DS3 weighs 7 kilos less than the previous generation.
Combined with impressive aerodynamics (Cd 0.31), this weight loss also makes the car easier to handle and more responsive.
Taming the road so that only driving pleasure remains
Because it makes no compromises on passenger safety, the CITROËN DS3 is fitted with a particularly safe braking system, including a host of standard-fit features such as ESP, ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA). This equipment helps drivers in the most difficult situations, including loss of grip. Passive safety is also top-level, with six airbags, three-point seat belts and Isofix anchor points in the rear side seats all fitted as standard.
From the first trim level, the DS3 gets a range of driving aids, such as a cruise control/speed limiter and a gear change indicator that recommends gear changes to save on fuel and cut emissions.
The CITROËN DS3 also ships with MyWay navigation, a sophisticated audio and multimedia system with built-in colour navigation, an MP3- and WMA-compatible CD player and a Bluetooth® hands-free kit.
DS3 designers set out to develop an irreproachably reliable vehicle. To that end, the DS3 is the first CITROËN project to fully benefit from a new development process that uses no prototype tooling, the idea being to create as early as possible a vehicle resembling the production model – rather than a prototype – along with the corresponding tooling. This approach results in significant gains in quality by involving at the earliest stage possible all the people working on the project, such as designers, suppliers and manufacturers. And it works so well that, for the DS3 project, the large majority of defects were processed well before the test drives, which will have covered some two million kilometres by launch.
In addition to this extremely robust design process, the new CITROËN C3 will benefit from production at PSA's Poissy site, which complies with the Marque's requirements on quality across the board. An ISO 9001-certified production centre, it is equipped with the very latest in production tools and technology. It also benefits from the entire set of policies in PSA's new production system and Lean Manufacturing, for optimised production quality and reduced customer lead times.
MAKING EVERYDAY LIFE A CHARM
The elegant supermini that surprises with its versatility
At 3.95 m long and 1.71 m wide, the DS3 is one of the most compact models in the segment. Its height, 1.46 m, gives the body styling a resolutely dynamic feel. And with a standard-setting turning circle of just 10.2 m to 10.4 m (depending on the tyres), the DS3 is highly manoeuvrable. All of which makes the newcomer a natural in its role as a stylish urban vehicle.
At the same time, the DS3 also sets a new segment standard on spaciousness, the result of remarkable work on architecture and interior design that makes it the first truly versatile compact coupé. As dynamic as it is compact and with equal measures of sportiness and practicality, the CITROËN DS3 has five real seats, all of which offer the roominess to be found in a compact hatchback, width-wise and length-wise. Drivers can find a perfect driving position thanks to a steering wheel and seat adjustable for both height and reach. Leg room is generous in the front, thanks to the "raised" dashboard design, and in the back, with slim front seat backs providing plenty of room underneath.
Two types of front seat are available: "comfort" for the first trim levels and "dynamic" for even more body support. Meanwhile, back seat passengers get highly practical grab handles making it easy to get out of the cabin.
Boot dimensions also up the ante compared on the competition, with best-in-class volume at 285 litres. Boot space can be modularised with a 60:40 split-fold rear bench, which owners can fold down with one hand in a single movement. Stowage compartments are legion, with the biggest glove box in the segment (13 litres) and cubby holes on the central console and fascia. The DS3 makes everyday life that much easier.
A total sensory experience
Together with its design approach and choice of materials and trim, the CITROËN DS3 appeals to the senses of passengers with the most innovative technologies.
The all-new HiFi system is worthy of the latest in home sound systems, with impressive audio reproduction. Equipped with an additional, third speaker located in the middle of the upper dashboard and an amplified subwoofer in the boot, the new system brings passengers rich sound with impressive depth that faithfully reproduces the most extreme frequencies.
The DS3 benefits from top-level acoustic treatment, for a velvet-smooth atmosphere on board. Soundproofing and noise absorption were carried out as close as possible to the sources of noise and vibration. Designers paid particular attention to the engine compartment and the doors, adding door sill joints and increasing the gram-per-metre count of sealing sheets to 200 (compared with a segment average of 90).
And for olfactory pleasure, the DS3 can ship with a scented air-freshener, fitted with a premium, chrome-finished control.
A distinctive service
With the CITROËN FREEDRIVE offering, introduced for the DS3, the idea of customer service assumes its full meaning.
First of all, customers get guaranteed peace of mind, with CITROËN handling all vehicle maintenance and servicing and proposing added extras such as integral car cleaning.
In addition, CITROËN FREEDRIVE aims to keep drivers mobile at all times. If their vehicle is immobilised, customers are provided with the most appropriate means of transport. They also benefit from a replacement vehicle when they
take their vehicle in for servicing.