Citroën DS3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Citroën's got big plans for its DS3. Not only is the premium hatchback launching the new DS line for the French automaker, but the vehicle itself is set to breed some serious performance variants. Now, following a batch of spy shots showing a rally-prepped version of the DS3 comes reports that parent company PSA is considering giving the green light to a street-legal performance version. So with the likes of the Alfa MiTo and upcoming Audi A1 closing in, the Mini Cooper S has been put on notice yet again.

Just how close to home will the prospective DS3 hot hatch hit? Considering that the Citroën shares its PSA/BMW co-developed engine with the Mini, pretty close. As it is, the top-of-the-line DS3 packs a 154-horsepower version of the 1.6-liter four, hitting 60 in an admirable 7.3 seconds. With output expected to come between 170 and 200 hp, the hottest DS3 could not only take on the Cooper S, but also other hot hatches like the SEAT Ibiza Cupra and Clio Renaultsport 200, to name just a few. Sources peg its launch for some time next year, so stay tuned.

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[Source: PistonHeads]