Citroën’s aspiring premium brand DS faces its toughest test yet in its bid to establish itself as a standalone marque when it launches the new DS 3 supermini this spring.
The DS 3 has been crucial to the brand to date, accounting for 48% of DS’s 118,500 global sales in 2014. Its success is attributed to its styling and appealing dynamics, which gave DS a surprise Mini rival.
DS boss Yves Bonnefont has set his team the task of building cars that are avant-garde in design, have cutting-edge technology and which offer refinement and dynamism. While the new DS 3, which is set to be revealed at Geneva, is said to embody these qualities, it will not have the advantage of an all-new platform, as parent company PSA develops its new small car underpinnings for 2018.
The strategy for the new DS 3 is thought to be an ambitious redesign. The exterior is said to have evolved, taking styling cues from the DS Divine 2020 concept. It is expected to keep the distinctive C-pillars and proportions of today’s car but will get fresh light treatments and sharper, more squaredoff lines. The grille will evolve closer to that of the DS 4.