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.