DS’s E-Tense concept may be all-electric, but it still delivers 400 horsepower

As a young car maker, Paris-based DS has a lot to prove. The company is off to a good start with the E-Tense concept, though, an electric coupe that is currently turning heads at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Using technology gleaned from its Formula E program, DS has developed an all-electric drivetrain that delivers 402 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of instant torque. Electricity is stored in a lithium-ion battery pack wedged under the carbon fiber monocoque, a packaging solution that frees up interior space and improves handling by lowering the coupe’s center of gravity. The E-Tense hits 60 mph from a stop in 4.5 seconds, and it keeps accelerating until the speed limiter kicks in at 155 mph. It offers a 200-mile driving range.

The E-Tense is instantly recognizable as a DS thanks to styling cues such as a large hexagonal grille and thin headlights underlined by chrome accents. The raked roof line is accented by a chrome fin that runs down the middle of the car, while the back end receives 3D-look tail lamps and vertical LED daytime running lights. The rear turn signals are located at the top of the roof pillars, a styling cue that pays a discreet homage to the original Citroën DS that was introduced amid much fanfare at the 1955 Paris Auto Show.

DS hasn’t published pictures of the E-Tense’s interior, though it points out the cabin took its team no less than 800 hours to design and build. To whet our appetites, the company promises the coupe is equipped with an innovative tulip-shaped steering wheel, race-inspired toggle switches on the center console, a 640-watt sound system, and a ten-inch touch screen that runs a new infotainment system developed with input from French tech firm Coyote. Clearly, the concept signals that DS is serious about becoming a major player in the premium segment.

DS hints the E-Tense’s tail lamps will trickle down to a production car, but the company hasn’t revealed whether the coupe is simply a design study or if it previews a range-topping model. If it’s approved for production, the E-Tense is unlikely to make the jump from the show floor to the showroom until the end of the decade at the earliest.

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