Mini rival launched; full picture gallery; 100 models made available for UK orders
15 September 2009

This is the Citroen DS3 supermini, the first car in a DS range that has been launched at the Frankfurt motor show.

The French firm hopes that this rival for the Mini and Fiat 500 will give the Citroen brand an image boost. It has announced that 100 cars will be made available for pre-ordering in the UK online from today, with deliveries set to begin next spring.

See the Citroen DS3 picture gallery

The new car is based on the next C3, itself not due until next year, and the production car has stayed remarkably close to the concept that was the star of this year’s Geneva show.

Mark lloyd, chief designer, said: "The interior of the DS3 was created for this car, and then we decided to put it in the C3. We chose different colours and trims for the C3.

"The B pillar is the most emphatic feature of the styling, maybe it will be copied - that’s a real sense of flattery."

The only obvious external differences are the tailpipes — a twin outlet replaces the concept’s large single exhaust — and a conventional aerial instead of the concept’s BMW-style fin. Even the wheels are the same.

The complex bodywork features a fully glazed rear, with conventional C-pillars replaced by the rear window. At 3.95m long and 1.71 m wide, it’s very similar in size to the ford Fiesta, although Citroen claims it has worked hard to reduce the weight of the car.

Buyers will be able to customise the exterior and interior of their cars. There are four colour schemes for the roof — black, white, blue and red — and graphics are also available. Door mirrors can be specified in body colour or chrome, and the coloured wheel centres are available in what Citroën describes as “an infinite variety of colours”.

Inside, the dashboard insert is available in six different finishes, with five different gear lever trims to choose from. And the key features a small disc painted in the same colour as the car’s body.

Engine choices consist of two diesels and three petrol motors. The diesels are 1.6-litre HDi units with either 90bhp or 110bhp; the lower-powered unit emits just 99g/km of CO2. The four-pot petrol engines have outputs of 150bhp, 120bhp and 95bhp. All engines come with five or six-speed manual gearboxes.

Underneath the DS3 is the new C3 chassis, which uses MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear. Citroen claims the suspension has been reworked to increase refinement, but it will be tuned to be sportier than the C3.

Citroen is making much of the DS3’s interior space. The car has a 285-litre boot, comparable to that of the Fiesta. But that’s more load space than in the Fiat 500 and Mini, and Citroën is also promising that the DS3 will offer “five real seats”.

The DS3 will be joined by two other DS models: the DS4 in 2011 and, a year later, the DS5, a big estate/MPV inspired by the C-Sportlounge concept from 2005. The cars could add as much as 40 per cent to the sales of the mainstream models on which they’re based.

The DS3 goes on sale next March, and it should be priced to undercut the Mini.

Dan Stevens

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Comments
50

24 August 2009

[quote Autocar]The French firm hopes that this rival for the Mini and Fiat 500 will give the Citroen brand an image boost.[/quote] I think Citroen will succeed provided the prices are competitive. It looks sufficiently different and the styling of the B pillar and windows makes it very distinctive. I like it, I'll be interested to see how the interior space compares to the MINI and 500 but on the evidence of these pictures it should sell like hot-cakes.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

24 August 2009

[quote ordinary bloke]I like it, I'll be interested to see how the interior space compares to the MINI and 500 but on the evidence of these pictures it should sell like hot-cakes.[/quote]

I agree. And I think this is something that we will see more of. People are prepared to pay a little more for something that is is distinctive but based on an 'ordinary' car

24 August 2009

I am genuinely looking forward to seeing this car. It represents more than just a new model for Citroen, it shows fresh thinking and a desire to be different. The "sportier" suspension set up is also a bonus (if they get it right) and this could be a cracking car... Better looking than the Mini, better handling than the 500.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

24 August 2009

Looks good!

24 August 2009

Glad to see Citroen getting back to its old core values of being refreshingly different and hopefully good value for money as no price as yet on this one . Peugeot seems to be waking up from its slumber in the design dept so all we need is Renault to wake up as well and we will have decent French cars like in the 1980s.

I have fond memories of 205gti's, 5 gordini turbos , and a BX gti s . All were relatively cheap light fast and generously equipped insurance was a nightmare then as well though !

24 August 2009

I don´t get it, what makes this car in any way better than an another? The Styling? Way too much make up! The Interior? The same as on the new C3, too much plastic, just because they offer leatherseats, doesn´t make me want to get one. This thing will bomb! Nothing special here, sorry. Now I remenber, what this car reminds me of, the AMC Pacer! B-pilar about the same, the wrap around windows in the back, great looking car.

24 August 2009

I've been living on the other side of the pond for a few years now and I really miss small European cars. I've seen a lot of complaints about the Peugeot RCZ and cars like the DS3 but believe me, you don't realise how lucky you are! Just have a look at the offerings from Pontiac and the others - total junk...

24 August 2009

[quote VelSatis23]I don´t get it, what makes this car in any way better than an another?[/quote]

It's just different to most other vehicles in its segment and that will be enough of an argument for many people.

[quote VelSatis23] Now I remenber, what this car reminds me of, the AMC Pacer![/quote]

Er..? The what?

24 August 2009

[quote Old Toad]Glad to see Citroen getting back to its old core values of being refreshingly different [/quote]

Sorry to mess up the Citroen love fest, but this car has nothing to do with Citroen's 'old core values'. This is a very bad styling/marketing exercise, which will have little longevity. Just awful.

24 August 2009

I quite like it - there are good touches. The overall shape is pretty good as well, bar a slightly frumpy front end (no doubt partly due to crash regulations).

I hope Citroen do put the development into the dynamics and the reliability is better than average. If they do this car deserves to do well - it's different. It's not as different as the DSs of old, but look at new cars right now - this is up there with the IQ. (Not that I like the IQ!)

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