Citroen DS3 Racing concept car (2010) first picturesFri, 19 Feb 2010 00:00:00 -0800
This is Citroen taking a swipe at the Mini Cooper S Works – and giving us a hint at what Sebastian Leob will be driving in next year’s WRC. The DS3 Racing is a pumped up version of the new C3-based premium supermini and just 1000 will be finished at the workshops of Citroen Racing, the team behind 11 rally championship titles.
Based on the production 1.6 THP, the Racing version gets tweaks to the turbo, exhaust and engine management system to boost power from 148bhp to 197bhp and add 26lb ft of twist for a 203lb ft total. No official word yet on performance figures, but given that the THP hits 62mph in 7.3sec, you can bet the Racing will dip into the sixes.
Thankfully for hedges everywhere, there are chassis tweaks too. Lower (by 15mm) and 30mm wider, the Racing benefits from stiffer springs, modified dampers, changes to the steering map and a recalibrated ESP system, while four-pot brakes up front and drilled discs should mean it will also stop better.
It might not be dressed up in full Red Bull livery, but you certainly won’t mistake the Racing for an ordinary DS3 thanks to the bright orange roof, mirrors, grille surround (Rover 200 BRM anyone?) and 18-inch wheels.
The cabin décor is equally arresting. An orange gearknob and surround and a massive slab of orange on the dash dominate the interior – did Jordan have a hand in the design process? At least the chunky bucket seats are reasonably tasteful.
Production starts in the autumn and at least some of the 1000 cars will come to the UK, although just how many depends on Brits’ willingness to part with an estimated £19k for a car based on a C3. But Citroen will be hoping that the Racing will be a useful halo car, helping them to recover some the mojo they had going with young drivers when the Saxo VTR and VTS were every pimply teen’s dream.
By Chris Chilton