Citroen's 1955 DS set for reprise with DS6
Teaser shots have appeared on Citroen's Facebook page for a new as-yet-unnamed vehicle. The French giant has successfully reprised its successful DS name into a whole series - so far we have the DS3, DS4 and DS5.
Back in 2010, Citroen created a special car just for the Shanghai World Fair - the Metropolis Concept appeared nowhere else. The Metropolis Concept looks a lot like the teaser pics (comparisons inside) and it's our bet that it will become the DS6 sometime later this year - probably at the Paris Motor Show in September.
Firstly, we have two images of the new DS - the first is the lead image for this story.
The second is this one of the new DS driving towards the camera.
Now, let's look at the shape which we saw in Shanghai during Expo 2010. The Metropolis was long, low and wide - 5.3 m (17.38 ft) long, 2 m (6.56 ft) wide and 1.4 m (4.9 ft) high - so although the fine detail of the styling is quite obviously different, the shape looks very similar in the front half, with an "estate" or "brake" cabin shape.
The Metropolis concept car was created by Citroën’s Shanghai-based international design team and was at the time proposed as a "sleek limousine concept."
Naturally, the Metropolis uses a version of the company's hydro-pneumatic suspension system.
Citroën’s Hydractive suspension system has since been licensed to several other auto manufacturers, most notably, Rolls Royce. The system was invented during WWII and first used on the rear of the Traction Avante in 1954 and on all four wheels in the DS, which created so much interest internationally when it was launched in 1955.
The DS went on to become an internationally-recognized icon - a symbol of France and its technological prowess - we've included some wonderful period shots in the image library of the DS in its heyday.
Above is an early sketch of the original DS.
The original DS was styled by Italian sculptor/designer Flaminio Bertoni and the French aeronautical engineer André Lefèbvre.
The DS' most famous moment occured during an assassination attempt on President Charles de Gaulle - despite two tires being shot out by the assailants, the unarmoured DS was able to drive clear of the danger. The incident was faithfully recreated for the film, "Day of the Jackal."
More than 1.5 million were sold during the car's twenty year production run, many finding their way throughout the world in the hands of intrepid French adventurers.
The DS came in third in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, behind the Model T Ford and Mini, and ahead of the Volkswagen Beetle and Porsche 911.
The DS was also voted "the most beautiful car of all time" by a jury of the world's leading car designers assembled by Classic & Sports Car magazine. The DS beat out a stellar stable with the Jaguar XK120 and Ferrari 275GTB equal second, and seven cars were equal fourth - the Cord 810/812, Ferrari 250GT Lusso, Ferrari 250GT SWB, Jaguar E-type, Lamborghini Miura, Lotus Elan and the 1957 Lotus Elite.
The Metropolis on display in Shanghai used a plug-in hybrid drivetrain incorporating a 2-liter V6 petrol engine and a 7-speed, dual-clutch electronic gearbox.
In Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mode, the Metropolis' electric motors can run all day delivering 55 bhp (40 kW), but can peak for short periods at 95 bhp (70 kW). At steady speeds on main roads and motorways, the petrol powerplant provides 272 bhp (200 kW) and 375 Nm of torque.
Combining both the electric motor and the combustion engine delivers a maximum power output of 460 bhp (345 kW) and 430 Nm of torque and there’s also a four-wheel drive mode for when extra grip is needed.
Although there are clearly many differences in the detail between the Metropolis and the coming DS model, the brand spent an inordinate amount of money to build the Shanghai concept with a clear intention of making an impression on the biggest ever World Expo's crowd of 73 million Chinese.
China is the world’s largest automotive market and Citroën’s second largest market outside Europe, with the brand having been established there for 20 years. Given all of the above, the Metropolis appears likely to form the basis of the DS6.
The original DS and the current C6 Citroen. Watch this space.
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This new DS6 looks good. But to be fair it just looks like it is following the current trend, with the Audi inspired grill. The new car looks great but to be worthy of a DS6 replacement it needs much more. It needs to be able to match the following characteristics:
1. The Airy spacious cabin 2. The glass area 3. Styling that does not follow but leads the rest. 4. Poetry.
I suggest that anyone considering a styling replacement imagine cruising the country roads, beaches and vineyards, with some fine symphony orchestra playing on a super sound system, with the windows down.
Even then, the DS is an extremely tall order to meet.
A tour de force. If they build the same one, I'd buy it.
Some cars don't need re-styling, they just need to be finely tuned with the best of today's technology.