Concept Car | DS E-Tense Performance

DS Automobiles, the French luxury car brand that is part of the Stellantis Group, has decent electric vehicle (EV) credentials – the company has been part of the Formula E racing championship for a number of years and has lifted the teams’ and drivers’ titles twice with the Techeetah team.

It plans to be an EV-only carmaker by the middle of the decade and has used its accumulated knowledge – plus the expertise of its DS Performance motorsport division – to create this, the DS E-Tense Performance prototype, which the company says it conceived as a high-performance laboratory to help the development of its technology.

The DS E-Tense Performance is based on a carbon monocoque, features twin electric motors dishing out 600kW (250 kW at the front and 350 kW at the back) and has a four-wheel drive transmission. No word on performance figures, but they would have to blistering you would think.

The prototype has a monster regeneration capacity, and DS says that only regeneration is used for braking. It is still fitted with a braking system with discs and pads, but they are for safety only – the regen system is designed to do all the heavy work.

The battery – developed jointly with TotalEnergies and battery company Saft – is housed in a carbon-aluminium composite envelope located in a central rear position for optimum weight distribution. It uses what the company calls ‘an innovative chemistry and an immersive cooling system for cells’ and permits phases of acceleration and regeneration of up to 600kW.

This new prototype is an advance on the E-Tense concept first revealed in 2016. While the styling is similar, things have moved on a bit in six years and the E-Tense Performance reflects that in its appearance. Up front there’s a new look to the grille area, combining the DS Automobiles logo with a three-dimensional effect. On either side, new daytime lights, made up of more than 800 LEDs, are super-slim but offer a wide span of light. Two cameras sit in the spot you might expect to see headlamps and are to be used for data collection.

There’s a new colour for the exterior – one that appears to change colour depending on the angle from which it is viewed – and as well as aerodynamic tweaks to the body, there are 21-inch wheels with an aerodynamic profile and unique inserts.

The cockpit, of which there are no images as yet, has been conceived to gather data, the company says, but it apparently sports bucket seats, a top-notch sound system, a Formula E steering wheel and leather trim.

“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,” said Thomas Chevaucher, DS Performance Director. “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.”

VIDEO: DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE

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