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Geneva show: DS goes green with E-Tense

In Tense: The striking DS E-Tense concept uses an electric powertrain to deliver a sportscar-worthy 300kW/516Nm.

E-Tense concept to debut with DS brand’s first all-electric powertrain


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29 Feb 2016

PSA Peugeot Citroen’s premium DS brand has celebrated its first year of operation by lifting the covers off the striking E-Tense electric-powered concept car ahead of its official debut at the Geneva motor show this week.

Under the sculpted bonnet of the E-Tense is the brand’s first all-electric drivetrain that uses lithium-ion batteries and delivers a system output of 300kW and 516Nm, with an electric-only driving range of 310km in mixed-cycle driving, or 360km on the urban cycle.

DS has revealed few details about the powertrain, but claims the sleek two-wheel-drive concept weighs 1632kg and can race from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds before hitting a top speed of 250km/h.

If it gets the green light for production, the E-Tense could face off against green go-fast models such as Lexus’ recently announced hybrid LC500h or BMW’s plug-in i8.

Describing the E-Tense as a grand tourer, DS Automobiles says the two-seater concept uses a monocoque chassis made from carbon-fibre and has independent “superimposed” double-wishbone suspension.

DS also says the placement of the batteries under the floor helps give E-Tense a low centre of gravity that allows it to handle with “rigour, precision and verve, all in total safety”.

A flat underbody, streamlined silhouette and carbon-fibre diffuser aids aerodynamics, while specially developed Michelin tyres boost safety, according to the French car-maker.

Carrying design cues from the Divine DS concept that appeared at the 2014 Paris motor show, the E-Tense – finished in a bold green body colour to no doubt emphasise its zero-emissions status – is sleeker and sportier than the 2014 show car, and could preview a production-ready electric sportscar.

Like the Divine DS, the E-Tense has no rear windscreen which the car-maker says gives designers more freedom, while allowing the use of digital rearview technology.

The headlight design follows recent DS production models such as the DS3 and DS5 in using a unique LED signature, but takes it to a new level with the ability to rotate 180 degrees. The daytime running lights were influenced by beaded stitching, a nod to high-end fashion, according to DS.

The full LED tail-lights are inspired by the iconic 1955 DS and will flow on to future production models.

While DS is yet to release images of the cabin, the company says upholsterers took 800 hours to design and produce the interior, with a big focus on the familiar DS watch-strap seat design and dash.

Cold steel has been used for the dashboard for a futuristic, sculpted effect and the steering wheel is tulip-shaped.

There is a ‘clean cabin’ filtration system that continuously identifies and filters “exterior pollutants” to keep the air in the cabin clean and fresh.

It also has high-definition digital instrumentation, including a 12-inch digital handset coupled with a 10-inch touchscreen, and a nine-speaker 640W Focal Utopia sound system with a Digital Signal Processor for tuning.

Also on the DS stand at Geneva will be the DS3 Performance hatch and cabrio, powered by a 154kW/300Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, the same unit found under the bonnet of the Peugeot 208 GTi hot hatch.

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