The design team of DS Automobiles yesterday presented a new concept called DS Aero Sport Lounge, their vision of a future high-end SUV model for the brand.
Fresh from embracing the SM of the 1970s at Salon Rétromobile in Paris, a car that was marketed here in North America as a ‘Harmony of Opposites’ for its combining all the distinctive engineering of Citroën at the time with a sleek aerodynamic shape, one look at the DS Aero Sport Lounge concept is proof that the brand’s capitalizing on Citroën’s fame for astounding design has taken a sad turn to merely emulating what other manufacturers are touting.
The DS Aero Sport Lounge looks like the design team took the Lexus LF-30 Electrified Concept that debuted at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Show and tried to breed it with a Tesla Cybertruck.
Add a few inverse manner styling cues and voila – “DS Aero Sport Lounge is a manifesto intended to illustrate the ‘sustainable’ neologism”, concludes Thierry Metroz, the Style Director of the brand. What is neologism you ask? It is defined by Wikipedia as “a relatively recent or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been fully accepted into mainstream language. Neologisms are often driven by changes in culture and technology, and may be directly attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event.” In other words, in on-point marketing-speak – a copy.
The DS9 E-Tense, also introduced this week, appears to be a mish-mash of styling taken from competitors and moulded into a form that is different but oh-so-similar. Add a few little inverse manner design elements from the Metropolis – Citroën’s concept car they showed 9 year ago, and claim it to be a masterpiece of sophistication. Long gone is the DNA that made Citroën the great marque it was.
This DS Aero Sport Lounge concept follows in the footsteps of the E-Tense and X E-Tense concepts, unveiled in 2016 and 2018 respectively. It is a large SUV (5 meters long) with sharp lines and perched on 23-inch rims, which is distinguished aesthetically by its front grille replaced by a screen, like the Lexus concept, but displaying the name DS Automobiles in luminous lettering, and by a unique light signature using DS Matrix LED Vision and DS Light Veil technologies.
Under the body is hidden a 100% electric mechanism developing 500 kW (680 hp) associated with a 110 kWh battery located in the floor of the vehicle, giving a range of 650 km. This technology is directly derived from that used successfully in the FIA Formula E Championship on the single-seaters of Team DS Techeetah, and delivers an impressive 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time of just 2.8 seconds.
The interior of the vehicle, produced according to DS Automobiles’ “Future Craft” philosophy, is finished in straw marquetry, cotton satin and luminous three-dimensional weaving. The upper dashboard blade projects useful information for the driver and front passenger (which also have two individual screens), while the central armrest equipped with gesture control technology, developed in collaboration with the company Ultraleap, allows command or various functions with simple hand movements.
Thierry Metroz, goes on to say. “It is a willingness to offer luxury while focusing on the environmental footprint: nobility in the sustainable (…) For this concept car which prefigures our next creations, we opted for solutions, avant-garde technologies, whose purely technical aspect disappears in favour of the beautiful.”
If so, this is the way we can expect DS Automobiles to be distinctive in the future. Too bad it’s not thinking like Citroën did when they created the DS and the SM.
Here’s the video produced for the DS Aero Sport Lounge concept introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynLoLkRUu8A
Update – March 5, 2020: You can view the DS Automobiles video produced in place of the Geneva Motor Show cancellation showcasing both the DS Aero Coupe Concept and the DS9 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6PJzcPXASs