DS E-Tense Performance: first look at 804bhp, Formula E-engined supercar | Top Gear
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Friday 31st March

DS E-Tense Performance: first look at 804bhp, Formula E-engined supercar

One-off prototype gets dual-motor setup from a single-seater racing car. Is very powerful

Published: 07 Feb 2022

DS has revealed the latest iteration of its E-Tense concept. This time it’s called ‘Performance’, and as the name suggests, it has a lot of that. Quite a lot of that, truth be told.

Nestled underneath that extraordinary coupe body sits the actual drivetrain from DS’s Formula E single seater. That endows the E-Tense Performance with a twin-motor setup producing 600kW. Which is [extends hands] that much.

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Or in old money, 804bhp. Unlike the last outing for the DS E-Tense concept, this one’s four-wheel drive with a suspension setup able to “guarantee the best possible grip” on roads, bumpy circuits and in all weather.

There’s a 250kW motor up front, and a 350kW motor at the back powered by a very special battery. DS tells TG the target is 0-62mph in two seconds. This is a Good Target, if slightly terrifying.

About that battery. It’s mounted in a ‘central-rear’ position within the E-Tense Performance’s carbon-aluminium monocoque, and features “innovative chemistry and an immersive cooling system for the cells, at odds with current technology, thanks to a bespoke design of Quartz EV Fluid solution”. See? Special.

DS reckons on acceleration and regeneration phases of up to 600kW, which again, is [extends hands further] that much. More importantly, this new battery – and indeed the principle behind the E-Tense Performance – points to new ideas for future electric performance cars from DS. Obviously not this one, which is a shame.

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Shame because it looks fantastic, as it has done in its various guises since we first saw an E-Tense concept back in 2016. This one of course, as all good concepts do, toys with possible design iterations for DS road cars. There’s a new grille with a sort of 3D effect with daytime running lights bearing an “unprecedented thinness” comprising 800 LEDs. From there, it scoops back into a very compact and rather appealing silhouette.

Though no images have been released of the concept’s interior, we’re promised a Formula E steering wheel, bucket seats, black leather and a sound system with special FOCAL Utopia speakers. 

Something for DS drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa to listen to then – both will be testing the prototype before it begins trials on circuits and on road. Only then will DS reveal all the proper performance data. Suffice to say, it’ll be [extends hands really very wide] that fast.

“Our objective is to apply the experience acquired in Formula E and the expertise that we’ve taken from our international titles to a project which predicts the high-performance electric car of tomorrow,” explains DS Performance boss Thomas Chevaucher.

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“It is a laboratory that we will use to analyse the behaviour of components and to develop them with a view to future manufacturing. The idea is also to find solutions to lower costs, make them easier to manufacture and explore implementations in production models. The next generations of the E-TENSE range will benefit from these developments,” he adds.

The last E-Tense concept was a roofless FWD wonder that also utilised a Formula E powertrain, but this has to be the best iteration yet, right?

DS E-Tense Performance Prototype

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