Meet DS’s 400bhp electric supercar, the E-Tense | Top Gear
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Meet DS’s 400bhp electric supercar, the E-Tense

Supercar looks, electric pace, dazzling interior: meet the DS Geneva show star

Published: 01 Mar 2016

As a statement of intent, it’s a pretty big one. Fast, too. It is a brand new concept car dreamed up by Citroen’s newly established DS luxury offshoot, dubbed the ‘E-Tense’.

Visitors to the Geneva Motor Show can see it up close, but for those who can’t, here’s the debrief. In short, it is a 400bhp, all-electric performance GT featuring some rather exquisite detailing.

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We’ll come to that shortly, because you’re likely wondering about all that power. 396bhp – to be precise – is delivered via an e-motor and lithium ion batteries positioned underneath the car’s monocoque, carbon fibre chassis.

Along with that 396bhp, there is a healthy 381lb ft of torque too, delivered to the rear wheels and capable of shifting the considerable 1,800kg of E-Tense from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 155mph. Not too shabby, you’ll agree.

If you’re concerned about such larks, it promises a range of 193 miles on the combined cycle. Though we suspect what will interest you more is DS’s promise that the car boasts a low centre of gravity, features independent, double wishbone suspension, along with a carbon fibre diffuser and flat underbody to help aero. It should be a pointy thing to steer.

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The exterior is a striking bit of design, too: the front was inspired by jewellery and luxury watches, and comes packed with LEDs. There are indicators integrated into the roof – inspired by the 1955 DS – with full LEDs at the rear of the car.

The sculpted body features all manner of edges, vents and strakes, too, and you might spot that there is no rear windscreen. We’re told it gave the designers more freedom, and to compensate for the lack of any rearward vision – and the potential for a messy, expensive ‘incident – you get digital rear view tech inside instead.

At 4.7m in length, it’s slightly longer than a BMW 3-Series saloon if you need perspective, but it sits just 1.3m high off the ground, which is lower than an Audi TT.

Step inside and you’ll find a world of detail; the cabin is quite something, you’ll agree. It took DS's upholsters 800 hours to design and build, and features a ‘watchstrap’ seat design, that sculpted steel dashboard, and toggles around the central console. The audio system is a nine speaker effort by Focal, and there's an actual BRM watch you can take out and wear. All of it is topped off with a 12in digital handset and 10in touchscreen. 

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“Our ambition was to create a high-performance electric GT,” explains DS. “A car that embodies refinement, technology, and DS design. A car that inspires dreams. A car that gives you the overpowering urge to get behind the wheel."

Well, does it?

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