An innovative suspension system being developed by the DS brand is likely to appear when the company starts rolling out its next new product range in 2018.
It emerged at last year’s Shanghai motor show that the DS brand is developing a suspension solution that could help it eclipse rivals on ride comfort whilst retaining a higher level of dynamics. This system is not the same as the one under development by sister brand Citroën.
Speaking at the launch of the new DS 3 in Paris, DS product and development boss Eric Apode said: “On which car it is too early to say but we will be launching a specific suspension system, starting with the first models in 2018.”
Company chiefs say the new system will be in keeping with DS’s 60-year history of innovation, and particularly its reputation for delivering cars with high standards of comfort by using radical suspension systems such as the hydropneumatic, self-levelling and variable ground clearance technology pioneered on the original DS.
Apode described the suspension as “high-tech”, but said it would not mark a return of the revered hydropneumatic system: “We think now with the development of electronics, we can do it better [that way].”
His comments elaborate on those made by DS chief executive Yves Bonnefont at the Shanghai motor show last year.
“Technology is opening up opportunities and we are determined to take advantage,” he said. “I cannot talk about specifics, but, yes, there is something sophisticated with the advanced engineering department at the moment that we hope will work with all of our potential platforms.”
Bonnefont also suggested that other advances in technology would be harnessed by DS to make its cars stand out from those of rival premium brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes, including in the use of interior materials. “We want to do somethings special in our use of natural materials,” he said. “We have ideas around how to use woods differently and even stone.”
The Divine DS concept car - revealed in 2014 to showcase DS’s future when the brand was split from Citroen - used gold-flecked granite as a surround on the dashboard, and engineers are said to have found a way to use thin layers of the material in cars.