THE French car manufacturer Citroen has decided to make their DS range of cars a separate stand-alone brand and they are now being sold in the UK by the new company DS Automobiles with the facelifted DS 5 being the first model from the new upmarket firm writes Bryan Longworth.
DS Automobiles is aiming at the premium car market with their models which will be sold by Citroen dealers but the DS range will be seperate from Citroen cars in showrooms with the new DS 5 appearing as the flagship model with its avant-garde styling.
The company say that their ambition is to revive the tradition of premium vehicles in the French automotive industry perpetuating the values of innovation and distinction inherited from the first DS launched in 1955.
Citroen badging has been removed from the DS 5 and has been replaced with a distinctive DS logo that will be the new face of the company which has been launched in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the very special futuristic DS that still looks a very special car after 60 years.
The very shapely DS which has been described as the most beautiful car of all time was manufactured from 1955 to 1975 and I still clearly remember road testing one of the cars shortly before production ended because it was so different from anything else on the road and years ahead of its time.
I recall that some of the features on that DS were so different from traditional cars it took quite some time to get used to the driving experience but once I had got used to the car it provided exciting motoring and memories that will live for ever.
Apart from its unusual aerodynamic styling it had swivelling headlights for better illumination when cornering plus that fabulous hydropneumatic self levelling suspension and it was the first mass production car with disc brakes.
That was the past and the future for DS Automobiles is with the new DS range led by the new look DS 5 flagship model which is on sale in the UK from July with the brand’s stand-alone identity with the new front end and numerous other revisions that make it a true DS.
Alongside the new DS 5’s additional features such as the sculpted vertical grille with the DS monogramme in the centre there are xenon full LED headlights plus a top quality interior and a new range of high performance engines.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the very first DS the new brand has launched a series of 1955 limited editions across the range - DS 3, DS 3 Cabrio, DS4 and the new DS 5 which all made their first appearance at a special DS Week in Paris along with models of the 60-years-old original DS.
DS Automobiles plans to have six models on sale throughout the world by 2020 and they will include saloons and SUVs because this is the area of growth.
This is an exciting time for DS Automobiles and while it will be very interesting to see what new models they come up with I doubt if they will ever again produce a sensational new car like that amazing original DS.
Verdict: Expect some new DS models with real French flair.
Manufacturer: DS Automobiles.
Model range: Six by 2020.
Engines: Petrol, diesel and hybrid.