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Citroen DS3 at 2009 Frankfurt motor show

Mon, 24 Aug 2009

By Tim Swietochowski

First Official Pictures

24 August 2009 11:37

Citroen has unveiled the production version of its DS3, which will be displayed for the first time at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show.

It is a brave decision by Citroen to revive the DS badge – standing for déesse (or goddess) and first seen on the pioneering 1950s DS. Based on the next C3, the DS3 is the first of a new range of ‘near-premium’ models, which will eventually include posher DS4 and DS5 derivatives based on future C4 and C5 models. It’s a bold aspiration for a brand better known for cheap prices and cashback deals…

Citroen hasn’t disappointed us by toning down the distinctive styling cues first seen on Geneva’s DS3 show car. Today’s first photos of the production DS3 show a small hatch with all the flair of the concept version – we’d say it’s another sign that Citroen continues its design resurgence.

Perhaps the most striking details on the DS3 are its ‘floating’ roof – available in black, white, red and blue – and the ‘shark fin’ B-pillar, the upper portion of which is overlapped by the rear windows. One of the few changes from the concept is the replacement of its single exhaust with twin pipes.

The interior is characterised by a dashboard strip that is available in six finishes, with colour options also available for the rear-view mirror and doorsills.

It will be available with a range of two diesel and three petrol engines, mated to five- and six-speed gearboxes. Both diesels emit less than 115g/km of CO2 while the petrol motors produce between 136g/km and 160g/km.

In line with its upmarket pretensions, the new Citroen DS3 comes with a range of options depending on spec, including cruise control, sat-nav and a gearchange indicator to encourage cleaner driving. Will that be enough to tempt buyers out of their Minis? The jury’s still out, although we applaud Citroen’s boldness in nudging the brand image upwards.

You bet. A 285-litre boot and a 60:40 split rear bench ensure that the DS3 surpasses its target rivals, namely the Mini and Fiat 500, for practicality.

The DS3 will go on sale in spring 2010, priced from around £12,500.


By Tim Swietochowski