August 28, 2013

Celebrating three years of distinctive DS cars

Celebrating three years of distinctive DS cars

It’s hard to believe but it’s only three years since we launched the first car in of our modern DS line, in the arresting shape of DS3. We are understandably pleased with the reception received by all three of our DS cars, with DS3, DS4 and DS5 accounting for a collective total of more than 300,000 sales worldwide.

Each of the three models offers a unique proposition, differing not just in size but in personality. However all three share important collective traits that unite the DS brand. Aside from the distinctive DS-diamond badge, the most obvious consistent theme is a distinctive premium quality, with each car displaying outstanding attention to detail that’s especially apparent from the inside.

Andrew Cowell, our senior design manager responsible for DS5, notes that the leather chosen for the DS5’s upholstery is of the same quality used by Bentley, and that aluminium touches in the cabin are all real, not painted plastic. “If you touch them, they feel cold,” he says, adding that the aluminium components are provided by the same British company that supplies Aston Martin.

Cowell himself is British, though he has worked in Paris for more than 20 years, and now oversees a car that provides an authentically French approach to luxury. France is famed both for its ‘haute couture’ fashion and for its enduring respect for traditional artisan crafts, qualities that are strongly echoed throughout the DS line-up.

Our DS cars are also distinctively different from our mainstream Citroën models, which range from the cute C1 to the capacious Grand C4 Picasso for which we employ classical proportions, simple shapes and uncluttered surfaces, while for the DS range we apply bolder lines, intricate details and more avant-garde proportions.

“We’ve created a code for the DS vehicles, and one of the key words we use is ‘hypnotic’,” says Cowell. “That’s a fantastic word for a designer because it means that you’re spellbound,” he adds.

All our DS cars have uniquely tailored driving characteristics as well as outstanding exteriors and interiors. “The dynamics of a DS5 are very different from what you’d expect of a C5,” explains Cowell. “We’re trying to achieve a different sense of ownership, when driving the DS vehicles. They are much more engaging, much more absorbing.” The flexibility of DS vehicles is easily seen in the variations their design can accommodate – DS3 WRC has carried forward Citroën’s unparalleled history of rallying victory, and new DS 3 Cabrio aims to reignite love for the convertible car in a modern audience.

We’ve come a long way since the first DS3 rolled out of our Poissy plant near Paris, in March 2010.