Sam Philip19 February 2010

DS3 Racing: Oh. Yes.

Citroen shows off hot hatch version of its posh new supermini. This is Very Big News

Oh yes. A somewhat damp, dull Friday has just become a very good Friday indeed.

Get a proper look at the DS3 Racing

This is the DS3 racing - a hot hatch version of Citroen's posh two-door supermini to rival the Clio 200 and Mini JCW - and it looks freakin' amazing.

It will be officially unveiled at the Geneva show and - here's the bad news - limited to a mere 1000 units when it goes on sale later this year.

Now for all the good news. Let's start with power: the DS3 Racing is powered by a revised version of 1.6-litre turbo engine also found in the Mini Cooper, putting out 196 and 203lb ft of torque.

Though Citroen hasn't released performance figures, that should be good for a sub-seven second 0-60mph time: that power output headbutts the DS3 Racing straight into the Clio 200 - and it has 44lb ft more torque to call on.

It is, fear not, a proper hot hatch. Citroen has given the DS3 Racing an uprated set of brakes - with drilled discs at the rear - stiffer suspensions, wider tracks at front and rear and a dropped ride height, all of which makes us slightly deliriously happy. The ESP has been revised to allow a whole lot more slidiness, or can be turned off completely if you're feeling lightly Stig.

Those gorgeous 18-inch alloys are nestling under wider, carbon fibre arches, while there's more carbonisation round the back in the shape of a nifty new diffuser.

With Citroen’s 2010 World Rally Championship car expected to be based on the DS3, this Racing version makes a whole lot of sense: the French firm has long struggled to tie together the success of its WRC C4 and the decidedly sensible production version, but this slice of hot hatch happiness has us looking forward to the 2011 WRC season already.

Looks amazing, should go like the proverbial doo-dah off the proverbial digging device, will soon go rallying… what’s not to like? It’s fair to say we’re a bit excited about the DS3 Racing – are you?

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