Friday, 6 February 2009

Citroën DS comes back from the dead

Citroen is bringing back the DS, but not as you know it! The DS name is returning as an upmarket line of new vehicles that will help Citroën take a step up towards the premium world.

The Citroen DS Inside is a low and richly detailed small 2 door estate. It’s understood to be very close in appearance to a production car, badged Citroen DS3, that is tipped for launch next year and is based on the mechanical components of PSA’s supermini twins, the Citroen C3 and Peugeot 207. It will be slightly larger than the current C4 and sit between a hatch and a sedan. Potential competitors include the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Lancia Delta, Volvo C30 and the upcoming Alfa Romeo 149.

Next will be a DS4 which will closely resemble the C-SportLounge Concept of 2005. The DS4 is expected to launch in 2010 as a 2011 MY. This will underpin the next C4 which is due in 2010. Lastly, the DS5 (based upon the current Citroen C5/Peugeot 407 platform) will be a car of the same size class as the Audi A6/A7, Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series. The Hypnos concept which debuted in last year's Paris motorshow is said to foreshadow the DS5, but where will this put the current C6 sedan?

“Some people will see this as a risky concept,” said a Citroen marketing source, “but we believe a DS model could achieve 25 to 40% of the sales of its corresponding mainstream model, without harming it, because it will target different people. The DS models stand for the best of the Citroen brand.”

More information will come to light at the 2009 Geneva motorshow, where the DS Inside Concept will premier. Meanwhile a quick recap on the C-Cactus may be in order. The car shown in Frankfurt motorshow in 2007 and featured a 70bhp 1.4 HDi diesel-electric drivetrain.

Press Release:

Development strategy:

Renewing models and making them significantly better than their predecessors is already an ambitious programme. But some customers want deeper-seated changes as mentalities shift from "wanting more" to "wanting better". This strategy is based on two approaches:

* Practical but stylish:

The first approach, consisting in satisfying fundamental mobility needs, addresses customers who, having down-sized, are on the look-out for more economical - and more intelligent - products.

Some would describe this as low-cost, but it isn't. The real challenge for CITROËN is designing products that are less expensive but with no loss in appeal. This approach is perfectly illustrated by the CITROËN C3 Picasso, a real recession proof car. And, going forward, our CITROËN C-Cactus project will be an even more accomplished solution.

* Motoring pleasure and pride of ownership:

In contrast, the second approach favours motoring pleasure, with no loss in practicality. Customers here are looking for outstanding products that confer status and bring them an all-new automotive experience. They want prestige, thrills and refinement, without the rigid codes of traditional upper-range models.

To address this need, CITROËN is today launching a new line of products to broaden its current range. The new line will consist of three new cars, positioned in the small, medium and large car segments, launched successively from 2010.

The first illustration of this new product line is the CITROËN DS INSIDE concept car. The concept car and vehicle line are characterised by forthright choices on styling, onroad performance and use. These are accessible objects of desire, cars that stand apart by their creativity, intelligent design and build quality, embodying the very best of CITROËN. The new product line will perfectly illustrate CITROËN's new spirit of "Créative Technologie".

The new line will also have a new naming system. Like the main range vehicles, which carry the letter C and a number, and, like the MPVs, which sport the Picasso signature, the new models will feature a special name: the DS line.

DS stood and continues to stand for a new approach to automobiles and the future. CITROËN is taking inspiration from its design DNA to strengthen the positioning of its new product line. The range instills the different spirit, that the name DS inspires. Hence the distinctive model line up will be called DS3, DS4 and DS5. DS: Different Spirit.

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