Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
Well, this is a hell of a way to herald a sub-brand. With Citroën announcing a year or so ago that DS will be a model line in its own right, bereft of Citroën badging, they've taken the idea of distinction and separation and caricaturised it to the nth degree for 2015.
Divine DS, as seen here at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, is a C4-sized hatchback thingy, refracted through a uniquely French premium filter. Under the bonnet is the spicy 270bhp 1.6-litre turbo from the Peugeot RCZ-R, but that's not the focal point of the thing by any means: this car is all about the details. From the Swarovski crystals in the headlights to the interior trim that looks like an Elizabethan wedding dress; the diamond panels on the roof to the weird tail-lights that pop up on tiny individual stalks, this is the very epitome of the phrase 'jewel-like'. The various textures and surfaces mix transparency with opacity to play with the light like some kind of freaky wizard; added to this luminary trickery, there isn't actually a rear window - simply a cascading panel that's supposed to evoke the scales of a lizard.
They're also suggesting three distinct 'dress codes' for the interior trimming - ‘Mâle’, ‘Parisian Chic’ and ‘Fatale Punk’. It may all sound a bit gimmicky, but the overall effect of the thing is fabulous. It's a genuinely jaw-dropping thing to look at, isn't it? The outrageousness of it all more than justifies the hallowed DS moniker, and the promise of lively performance is merely a happy incidental benefit. Imagine if they actually started selling these to the public...
More from FoS 2015 here.