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Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

French 3 Series rival revealed

2011-04-19 08:37

FRENCH 3 SERIES RIVAL: Expanding the theme of daring styling and design ushered in by DS3, Citroën is now moving upmarket with its new DS5.

Citroën's going big with its legendary DS-series badging, revealing the company’s new DS5 premium hatchback ahead of its Shanghai auto show debut.

The Golf 6-sized five-door (4.52m bumper-to-bumper and 1.85m across) has the typically bold DS styling first seen on the DS3; elements such as the extensive chromed detailing, LED illumination strips and Citroën's signature chevron-kink grille.

Those split sideblade A-pillars and generously proportioned U-shaped bumper side air-intakes, first seen on the DS3, are also crafted into the DS5's styling.

RADICAL ROOFLINE

DS5’s rear three-quarter view shows off a pair of fascia-integrated exhausts and wraparound tail lights.

Featuring a radical coupe-like roofline, Citroën’s latest hatchback is a notably more daring car than the C5 with which it shares a serial numeral in the company's product portfolio.

Just a note on those elaboratel 20-inch alloy rims with which the DS5 is being shown with at Shanghai... they won't (unsurprisingly) make it to showroom floor. Expect a series of 16 to 19-inch wheel options instead.

CLASSY CABIN: Interior features plenty of leather and neat aluminium accents. Unlike the C5, the steering wheel boss is not fixed…

UPMARKET INSIDE

The daring touches continue in the cabin with a surfeit of leather trimming most of the DS5’s touchable surfaces.

The steering wheel has an oversized boss and four-spokes (doesn’t have a fixed centre though, like the C5) and the ergonomics are decidedly driver-orientated.

There is a head-up display (projecting vital instrument readings on to the road surface contrast point within the driver’s field of view) and a neat touch is some of the switchgear being located in a roof console (aircraft-style), enabling more storage space in the centre console.

Beyond all its stylised design elements, the DS5 retains a strong sense of hatchback utility. Its luggage capacity is a capacious 465 litres – a negligible, but factual, 5-litres more than BMW's 3 Series sedan.

Citroën's new premium hatch will be powered by a hybrid powertrain driving all its wheels. This combination powertrain has 119kW of two-litre turbodiesel power for the front wheels, augmented by 27kW of electric power from a rear-wheel mounted electric motor.

With the DS5 riding on Peugeot's new 508 platform, ride and handling characteristics are expected to be exemplary.

Citroën DS5 is expected in right-hand drive markets by early 2012 and has stated its intention to capture compact premium market share from BMW's 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz's C-Class.
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