Thursday, 13 August 2009
Is it a Citroen DS3 GT or a Mini Cooper?
Is Citroen's new DS3 ready to take on the Mini? Lately, Citroen has been making a good job of impressing us with their new designs of Car. They really seem to have been getting the design and engine power spot on and producing really fun car cars to drive. It started with the magnificent 2003 C-Airdream coupe, the 2005 C-Sportlounge, and the extraordinary low-slung luxury C-Métisse sedan of 2007.
The DS3, DS4 and DS5 will be companion models to the C3, C4 and C5. Each will have their own sheet metal and their own USP. They won't have to appeal to the masses and won't be built down to a price. Well, not such a low price.
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 lineup will be called DS3, DS4 and DS5. DS: Different Spirit. Expect the GT version to take it a step further with an even stiffer set-up.
What you see here is more than just a styling exercise. According to early reports, the concept, which is officially called the DS3 Inside. "The Mini is our benchmark for fashion and design," says Budar, "but for handling, we want to go our own way with the DS3. A Mini is a toy but it's a bit tiring for every day. We will still have some comfort with our car. OK, for comfort the DS3 won't be as good as the new C3, but the sportiness will be at a much higher level. All the springs, dampers, anti-roll bars and bushes are different. It even has a smaller steering wheel."
Inside the DS3 features leather and climate and has a sort of modern twist on a traditional interior (they couldn't have picked up some ideas from the Fiat 500 and the MINI - surely?!).There are a set of decent looking seats with a sort of bracelet-link sectioning. The steering wheel is small and the seats are set quite low. The dash flows right across the cabin and features a lot of gloss black (the 'in' thing for design this year, it would seem). The onboard navigation system is roumoured to be maps that will offer aerial photographic images, something that's impossible for DVD-based sat-navs to provide because it takes up too much disc space.
The Citroen DS3 GT has a tough track to follow with the Mini Cooper. On looks the DS3 is holding its own with its massive wide arches, rear wing spoiler and pumped up bonnet vent and body kit it certainly looks the business but what about its engine and chassis? Under the vented bonnet it looks likely that Citroen will install the 1.6 liter turbo from the Peugeot 207 GTi and Mini Cooper S. Performance should be similar on paper, with 0-60mph in around seven seconds and a top speed approaching 135mph.
Citroen's focus isn't only on opulence, though. Eco-friendly stop-start technology will be offered as standard across the range, while Peugeot-Citroen's diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain is set to debut in a DS model.
It has a chance of reviving some of Citroen's quirkiness, which stood it in good stead for many a year, and it will doubtless offer a more supple ride than either the MINI or the Alfa.
As for pricing, the DS3 illustrates the positioning; it will cost more than the replacement C3, obviously, but will undercut the Mini, its main rival. The DS3 doesn't hit the dealers until spring 2010, so Stay Tuned!
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Posted by Sooz at 04:19