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Beijing show: DS looks to 2035 with X E-Tense

E-Tense chemistry: The X E-Tense can produce up to 1000kW of power from its two electric motors, which are mounted on its front axle.

Pure-electric DS X E-Tense roadster concept previews ‘the car of your dreams’


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27 Apr 2018

PSA Group’s premium brand, DS Automobiles, has unveiled its vision for “what the car of your dreams might look like in 2035”, with the pure-electric X E-Tense roadster concept breaking out at the Beijing motor show this week.

The radical X E-Tense does without the constraints placed on traditional passenger cars, with DS designers given free rein to create their vision for the sportscar of the future.

As such, the X E-Tense is unlike any vehicle seen before, with its design inside and out serving as a unique statement.

Rather than conventional headlights, the X E-Tense features Light Veil curtains, which are built into the body and can change shape, colour and brightness.

The rear end does way with its tail-lights for Light Veil curtains, too, but it is characterised by its angular, off-centre nose that is punctuated by the DS logo and aggressive diffuser below.

The X E-Tense still identifies as a DS model thanks to its signature front grille design and illuminated pearl dots either side of the front bumper.

DS’s wedge-shaped, open-top roadster is defined by its interior layout, which incorporates a cockpit for the driver and a ‘cacoon’ for passengers, with the sections accessed via a Elytre and gullwing door respectively.

The cockpit has a single seat that adapts to the driver’s build like the fitted seats used in motorsport, while the steering wheel is trimmed in leather, wood and metal.

If the driver decides to engage autonomous mode instead, they can join one passenger in the cacoon, which includes a sprawling seat that features ventilation and massaging functions.

A high-fidelity sound bar assumes the position of a dashboard, while different fragrances can be pumped into the cacoon to heighten its ambience. An auto-dimming glass floor provides occupants with a distinctive view.

While a touchscreen infotainment system is integrated into the interior’s glazed surfaces, a holographic personal assistant, dubbed IRIS, manages the vehicle’s functions.

Two electric motors are fitted to the front axle, with one motivating each wheel, producing 400kW of power when road mode is activated.

However, this output can rise to 1000kW when circuit mode is selected, while the battery pack is positioned forward of the rear axle to optimise weight distribution.

Performance is further enhanced via the X E-Tense’s carbon-fibre chassis and DS Performance-tuned suspension, despite going without brake pads due to the benefits of EV regenerative braking.

According to DS Automobiles chief executive officer Yves Bonnefont, the X E-Tense has an emotional design that appeals to automotive lovers.

“We decided to set ourselves another internal challenge, which was to give life to the car of our dreams,” he said.

“The DS X E-Tense is our creation. Our styling and technical teams were given an entirely free hand to pursue their dreams. We dreamed about the way that customers would live and derive pleasure from driving a DS in the year 2035.

“My personal dream was of a machine I would love to use, both as an automotive lover and as a customer. I take my hat off to the men and women who pooled their dream into this superb dream car.

“Materialised by the know-how of our experts, DS X E-Tense is essentially about human emotion, guided by the avant-garde spirit we seek to foster both collectively and as automotive lovers.”

As previously reported, DS is on hold in Australia after Inchcape Australasia took over from Sime Darby Motors Group last year as the distributor for the brand alongside its Citroen and Peugeot siblings.

Previously, the C3-based DS3 light hatchback and convertible, C4-based DS4 small hatchback and DS5 mid-size liftback sedan were offered locally.

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