Like many former rally fans, the sport has pretty much dropped off my radar in recent years.

And the spy shots of the forthcoming Citroen DS3 rally car have reminded me why.

Citroen DS 3 rally car spied

I was never a hardcore rally fan. Instead I was the sort of fairly typical low-intensity fan who makes up the bulk of interest in any sport.

That meant that every year I'd head off with a group of mates for a spectating pilgrimage to what was then the Network Q, with occasional trips to other events like the Manx. I even tried to help a mate service his battered Mk2 Escort on various club events, although I'm sure I was more of a hindrance than a help.

But ten years ago, rallying was still 'my' form of motorsport, and most of my list of hero cars had been designed to compete on the world's stages: Sapphire Cosworth, Lancia Delta Integrale, Toyota Celica GT4, Subaru Impreza WRX.

Of course, the days when you could buy what was basically a road-going version of a rally car - the era that all of the above came from - are long gone.

But even accepting the fact that, commercially, rallying has to take the form of these 'silhouette specials' I'm still wondering why manufacturers are entering such daft looking cars into rallying.

The DS3 is a gigi little supermini that's been designed to look good while bump-parking its way around the flashier shopping streets of major European cities. A tough, muscular rally car it ain't and never will be.

It's not even the silliest looking rally car we've seen so far. That distinction will probably always reside with the SX4 WRC that Suzuki's premature withdrawal from top-flight rallying perhaps mercifully denied us further site of.

Anyway, here's my memo to manufacturers with aspirations of bringing fans back into WRC: build some good-looking cars.