Vlad Mitrache at AutoEvolution pondered that possibility this month, citing this DS Electric concept rendering by Larson Saeltzer of Larson Design in Germany.
Larson has been working as a freelance automotive designer and illustrator of concepts for international automobile magazines for over 20 years. Studying at the University of Design in Pforzheim in the field of Industry and Transportation Design, he went on to work at the Mazda Europe Development Centre, near Frankfurt, gaining extensive insights into vehicle development and actively designing upcoming models.
His DSe rendering is a contemporary extrapolation of Flaminnio Bertoni’s classic form, arguably a little more boxy that it might have been had he chosen to lower the sides slightly by having the edge run from the upper corner of the front headlight to where the door handles currently are (they could be effectively moved down proportionately) then continuing to taper rearward tying into the flare of the rear wheel arch. Such lowering would also allow the size of the side windows to be increased as they seem too elevated, even in comparison to the high sides of contemporary European sedans (Audi, BMW, Mercedes). Dropping the side line would allow the roof to be canted back in the rear — thereby lowering the rear window placement and that of the C pillar.
Design critique on our part aside, the real question is would Stellantis have the courage to launch such a distinctive vehicle? And if they did, would they most likely ditch the chevron badging and put it as part of their DS brand?
Vlad points out that the existence of the DS brand makes any revival of the model with the same name difficult, if not even impossible. “The confusion a modern Citroën DS would cause when there are several DS models on the market already would be substantial, not to mention detrimental to the cars sold by DS Automobiles.”
He is bullish on Larson’s design, saying; “It’s not just DS Automobiles that will be in trouble, but pretty much the entirety of the industry. We’re obviously exaggerating to convey a point, but not by much. Can you really imagine anyone who wouldn’t fall for this clean and modern reinterpretation of the iconic French model?”
More than stunning design is required. There also needs to be a high degree of technical innovation for success. Vlad nails it; “Unless it emulated its ancestor by bringing something innovative to the table, the modern DS would risk looking like an impostor.”
He also echos what what we have stated and has been the sentiment in many Citroën forums and magazines over the years; it was sad to see such an iconic model disappear for good, but its legacy could have been tainted if the sequel hadn’t lived up to the ridiculously high expectations of those that literally worshiped it. Yes, the CX was the evolution of the DS, but it was a radical change that abandoned its form in favour of what Citroën Head of design at the time, Robert Opron, felt a modern sleek flagship sedan should be. In the long run, the CX has stood up very well as a classic innovation in it’s own right, but with little DS pedigree that Larson’s design exudes and many still long for.
You car read Vald’s full reasoning here: https://www.autoevolution.com/news/citroen-dse-rendering-is-proof-of-the-classic-french-cars-timeless-design-170724.html
Suffice to say it’s a long shot that we will ever see something like it from Stellantis in either fossil fuel or electric form.