If you’re introducing a new premium sub-brand to an unfamiliar market place, it’s customary to build a halo vehicle, a car that will inspire customers and tastemakers to take you seriously. Alfa Romeo not too long ago did it. Hyundai, also. And next week at the Geneva Motor Show, Citroen will join them with this, the DS E-Tense.
Now, to be fair, the E-Tense can’t necessarily be equated with production automobiles like the Alfa 4C or Genesis G90. And given Peugeot-Citroen’s track record of routinely pumping out really elegant, quite strange and very conceptual style research, it’s likely that is exactly where the E-Tense will remain. But if this all-electric grand tourer cross among an Audi R8 and Lexus RCF is an indication of the sort of factor we can expect from the future of France’s newest luxury nameplate, take into account our interest piqued.
The E-Tense — like every thing now — is powered by an electric motor delivering 396 hp and 381 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels, mounted we’re not confident exactly where. Wherever it resides, the E-tense could certainly use all the grunt it’s got, provided the combined mass of the electric drive method and lithium-ion batteries. Despite a carbon-fiber monocoque, the concept weighs in at just shy of 4,000 lbs. Nevertheless, Peugeot-Citroen tells us it can reach the European-mandated limit of 155 mph and hit 60 mph from a standstill in just four-and-a-half seconds.
But let’s be truthful with ourselves the purpose of a idea like this is to wow the eyes first, and deal with logistics later. According to the press release, 800 man hours have been devoted to designing the E-Tense inside and out. It definitely shows. The chiseled fenders, generous side intakes and tapered profile at the rear make fairly a statement of performance, as does the lack of a rear window. In addition to the aforementioned Audi and Lexus cues, there’s also some Honda hiding in the E-Tense’s headlights and taillights. The proportions clearly indicate a mid-engined layout, but the lengthy-slung passenger compartment emphasizes comfort. That, coupled with a strong driving range of up to 224 miles just before a recharge, is exactly what you want in a GT.
—By: Adam Ismail