DRIVEN | DS3 Crossback
What’s in a name? That’s the question facing DS Automobiles as they embark on a new story having launched as an all new automotive brand in 2015. The name will be familiar to many, having been associated with the Citroën marque for the very popular DS 3 model, and it is perhaps that success that has seen the brand break its ties and focus on its journey to become the leading luxury French automotive brand.
It was 1955 when Citroën unveiled a car simply know as DS; a blend of the “avant-garde” styling that the French luxury brands were renown, coupled with the most sophisticated automotive technology at the time.
This mantra set the template for the DS Automobiles brand of today, a brand that is first and foremost focused on the future of automotive and becoming a style icon like the globally lauded French fashion houses – Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton — whose prestige they aim to replicate in years to come.
That’s quite some task and one that began with the launch of their first stand-alone DS Automobiles model, the DS7 CROSSBACK, back in 2018; a crossover SUV with a tech forward focus, and style cues that would set the tone for the DS models to follow.
Fast-forward to 2019 and they are now releasing the DS 3 CROSSBACK; an ultra-compact SUV based on the successful DS3 silhouette. For functional comparison purposes think Audi Q2 and Mini Clubman, although stylistically it’s a completely different proposition; the emphasis being on symphony of design and elegance. DS Automobiles are also offering fully electric E-TENSE models that you can choose as simply as changing engine option. The available trim options are the same for all power trains, so once you’ve decided on the design of your DS 3 CROSSBACK, you simply need to ask yourself “Do I want to drive diesel, petrol — or electric?”
“With DS 3 CROSSBACK, DS Automobiles writes a new chapter in its history: electrification. With E-TENSE version, DS 3 CROSSBACK is 100% electric, with no compromise over style and benefits.”
~ Yves Bonnefont, CEO, DS Automobiles
This is a big change from the standalone electric only models currently offered by other automotive marques and gives an insight into the mantra behind the DS Automobiles plan; future focused.
That’s not the only thing that makes the DS 3 CROSSBACK different, it’s also the little luxuries they incorporate into the experience. For example, as you approach the car, flush door handles automatically present themselves to you, while the feature rich interior is a testament to design, both in function and appearance.
As a result of their electrical progression and focus on reducing environmental impact, DS Automobiles is the official supporter of “Chiuly at Kew: Reflections on Nature” hosted at the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens. The world’s most celebrated contemporary glass artist, Dale Chihuly’s lifelike glass floral sculptures punctuate the gardens, reminiscent of the fine details that punctuate the DS 3 CROSSBACK interiors. Both feature a symphonic combination of natural and synthetic; the gardens combine glass and botanical, while the cars leather and metal.
And let’s not forget the technology. From the DS Driver Attention Monitoring that tracks the drivers eyelids and head movements continually to make sure the driver doesn’t sleep at the wheel, to the DS Night Vision that can detect pedestrians and animals in the road using infrared from up to 100m away, DS Automobiles have set the technological standard for vehicles in that segment.
What’s next for the brand? Put simply, more models. The brand will release a new model each year and also continue to unveil their dedicated DS Stores — not showrooms — where customers will be able to choose their options and purchase their preferred DS model. All very, very chic indeed.