A near-production version of the new upmarket Citroen DS3 small car has been caught testing just weeks ahead of its debut.
The Citroen DS Inside will be billed as a concept at Geneva, but in reality it is a thinly disguised production car with a brief to chase the Mini.
This prototype shows that the Citroen DS3 is nearing production and will be ready for sale in 2010.
Despite this test car’s disguise, it is still possible to make out the gently sloping roofline and rear spoiler of the Citroen DS Inside, while the front shows that the production car will retain the elongated nose to allow for the revised double chevron and Citroen DS badging. The car caught testing even has the concept’s alloy wheels.
The positioning and angle of the B and C-pillars suggest that the Citroen DS3 will be pitched between the Mini hatch and Mini Clubman, with greater practicality than the three-door but slightly less space than the Clubman.
The Citroen DS3 will be the first of three models on sale by 2012. The others are the Golf-sized Citroen DS4 and the DS5, a bigger estate/grand tourer that evokes the classic Citroen SM.