Since its launch in 2014, DS Automobiles has put electrification at the heart of its strategy. As the first premium manufacturer to be involved in Formula E, the brand has taken advantage of its success in the 100% electric championship to support its research and development into more sustainable mobility. Since 2019, DS Automobiles has been showcasing a 100% electric range to become from 2020, the multi-energy brand with the lowest CO2 emissions in Europe. The transition is accelerating: from 2024, every new DS Automobiles design will be only 100% electric.
To maintain a leading position in the electrification market, DS Automobiles draws on the expertise of DS PERFORMANCE, its competition division, with the development of a prototype aimed at testing different innovations to build into the brand’s next designs.
“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. 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.” Thomas Chevaucher, DS PERFORMANCE Director.
DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE introduces a carbon monocoque with drivetrain taken from a Formula E single seater. The suspension geometry is able to guarantee the best possible grip on roads, like on often-bumpy urban race tracks, and in any weather conditions.
The powertrain is made up of two electric motors giving a combined power of 600 kW (250 kW at the front and 350 kW at the back) corresponding to 815 hp and torque of 8,000 Nm at the wheels. Taken straight from DS PERFORMANCE developments for Formula E, these two electric motors display exceptional returns. With unprecedented regeneration capacity of 600 kW, With an unprecedented 600 kW of regeneration capacity, the DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE powertrain prioritises the best use of energy. If, physically, DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE keeps a braking system with discs and pads for safety, only the regeneration system is used for braking.
The battery is one of the fundamental parts of the very high-performance DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE laboratory. It is compact and housed in a carbon-aluminium composite envelope designed by DS PERFORMANCE. This is in a central rear position for optimum XX/XX weight distribution. The DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE’s battery was inspired by electric car racing and developed jointly with TotalEnergies and its subsidiary Saft. The result of research by this partner, it hides an innovative chemistry and an immersive cooling system for cells, at odds with current technology – thanks to a bespoke design of Quartz EV Fluid solution. This battery permits phases of acceleration and regeneration of up to 600 kW and enables the exploration of new avenues for future generations of production vehicle.
The sketch of a future DS Automobiles design language
A very high-performance laboratory, DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE is also an area of exploration for DS DESIGN STUDIO PARIS.
The front reveals a new surface for expression in place of the grille. Already suggested by DS AERO SPORT LOUNGE, this treatment combines the DS Automobiles logo with a three-dimensional effect – such a shop window – with a special welcome sequence.
On either side, new daytime lights combine technology and design with unprecedented thinness to give a wide span of light. Altogether these are made up of 800 LEDs. Two cameras positioned instead of headlamps complete DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE’s visual identity, while enabling useful data to be collected by this driving laboratory.
To go with the aerodynamic line, the body introduces a beetle-effect interference colour. Depending on exterior conditions and the angle you look at it from, the perception of the colour changes and gives a striking contrasting effect with the gloss Black surfaces stretching to the bonnet. The 21-inch wheels introduce an aerodynamic profile with unique inserts.
The cockpit has been conceived to gather data. Bucket seats and a Formula E steering wheel create an ambition to work that’s devoted to high performance. Comfort and attention to detail is also encompassed with the special trim insert in black leather.
To go with DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE, Focal comes on board with an in-car FOCAL Utopia sound system and introduces a pair of exclusive Scala Utopia Evo speakers in prototype colours. Made with the best components these pieces of French silverware give a unique signature sound.
Very high-performance laboratory in action
From February 2022, the DS PERFORMANCE team is organising the first tests with DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE. Jean-Éric Vergne, E-TENSE ambassador, and Antonio Felix da Costa, both Formula E champions, will take turns at the wheel of the prototype to finalise its development, before beginning tests on tracks and open roads. The real performance data from DS E-TENSE PERFORMANCE will then be revealed.