The new DS3 unfurled at the Louvre; and it's due in Ireland by April
Published 27/01/2016 | 02:30
Since it began in 2010, the DS3 has sold almost 400,000 models. Citroen have now launched DS as a separate brand, so a new DS3 was always on the cards and its unveiling venue was rather special - the world's press met under the stars at the Pyramid of the Louvre in Paris.
Only a French manufacturer could get away with something like that but it signals the high-end aspirations for the new brand. At first glance, the new DS3 seems more a revision than a new model, a new 'double wing' face being the major exterior change.
Inside, there's far more tech, with both MirrorLink and Apple CarPlay interfacing with the 7ins touch screen allowing drivers to easily control either an Android or Apple smartphone, making DS the first volume manufacturer to fit this technology across their entire range.
Engines comprise three petrol PureTechs, two THP performance petrols and three BlueHDi diesels. CO2 figures are as low as 78g/km, with the DS3 Performance developing 208bhp and 300Nm of torque.
This Performance model has a limited slip Torsen differential and sits on 15mm lowered suspension with a wider track both front and rear; 18ins black wheels and leather/Alcantara bucket seats also feature.
I got the chance to talk to Eric Apode, VP for Product Development and he confirmed that the bonkers DS3 Racing wouldn't be replaced, although Performance versions of other DS models will be introduced.
He also told me that between 2018 and 2020, six all-new DS models would come on stream, with three of these being SUVs, a growing sector worldwide.
New DS models will be developed as world cars, with the same basic design no matter where they will be sold, be it Europe or China, currently the second biggest market for DS, behind France.
I also discovered that there are no plans for anything smaller than the DS3, so no DS2 or DS1 is on the horizon. DS also have no interest in ever producing a pastiche of the original DS from the 50s, being more interested in creating modern designs, or what they term Avant Garde.
A DS3 cabriolet was also launched with the same rolling fabric roof as the outgoing model. There's a choice of four fabric roofs, including one with the DS logo woven into the fabric creating a repeating pattern. It actually looked quite attractive.
Hatchback or cabrio, there are plenty of options for personalisation, including exterior colours and interior trim, giving rise to countless available combinations.
The new DS3 will arrive in Ireland in April.