DS Automobiles is ready to tell the world it's arrived. PSA Peugeot Citroën's new premium brand has blended avant-garde styling and cutting-edge technology in an all-electric, two-seat GT concept car. The car is called the E-Tense and it highlights the best in French design.
The voluptuous E-Tense features a single 402-hp electric motor wired to a lithium-ion battery pack mounted on the underside of the carbon monocoque chassis. That motor puts out 381 lb-ft (516 Nm) of torque and powers the sporty two-door from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds, on up to a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). The battery offers up to 224 miles (360 km) of city driving or about 193 miles (310 km) of mixed driving.
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The DS badge, which was formally split from Citroën into a standalone brand a year ago, has appeared on some interesting and unique concept cars in the past (see the Divine DS from Paris 2014), and the E-Tense follows that formula. A sculpture of curves and carves, the striking "metallic green ametrine" car has bulging, three-dimensional fenders slashed open by vents behind the front wheels and cavernous intakes behind the doors. The concavity of the rippled doors between those front and rear air passages makes the car look utterly ravenous for surrounding air molecules.
Up higher, the generously arched roof melts seamlessly into the rear-end thanks to a rear windscreen-free design. A chrome plated spine runs up the hood and down the roof.
DS spent much time on the concept's lighting, previewing a next-generation version of its LED Vision headlamps with active, rotating lights. A wide beam mode offers better visibility in rain, snow and fog. In back, there's a very distinctive blend of "scaly" LED taillights and heritage-inspired roof-integrated indicators.
The exterior is definitely interesting, but the interior appears to be the greater conceptual highlight. DS says it spent 800 hours designing, testing and creating the interior, which features an "upgraded watch strap"-inspired design on the seats and cold steel dashboard, a tulip-shaped steering wheel and a series of bespoke accessories from French luxury brands. There's a leather helmet harness from trunk-maker Moynat, a removable, one-off BRM center console timepiece and a premium audio system with nine Focal Utopia speakers.
The windshield-free rear bodywork necessitates a rear camera-driven digital vision system, which we assume is tied into the 10-in touchscreen. A clean cabin filtration system continuously monitors the air and filters pollutants to keep the cabin fresh.
DS frames the E-Tense as a preview of design ideas and technologies, so we don't expect a production version in the future. We do expect to see the DS production line infused with some of the concept's styling and technological elements. We'll bring back a closer look at the E-Tense from next week's Geneva Motor Show.
Source: DS AutomobilesView gallery - 7 images