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New DS E-TENSE Performance hints at brand’s electric future

DS pledges to launch only electric cars from 2024 as it unveils a prediction of “the high-performance electric car of tomorrow” utilising Formula E race car technology

This is the DS E-TENSE Performance: the latest electric concept car from Citroen's premium off-shoot, which incorporates technology and learnings from the company’s nearly seven years in Formula E racing.

More specifically, both the E-TENSE Performance’s carbon-fibre shell and electric powertrain have been taken directly from DS’s single-seater race car. The zero-emissions coupe concept gets one electric motor on each axle, with a combined output of 804bhp and a garanutian 8,000Nm of torque. 

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DS hasn’t released any performance estimates for the E-TENSE Performance, but the French car maker has announced it will create a running prototype which will be tested by Formula E champions Jean Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa. 

Plus, with more power on tap than a second-generation Formula E car, the concept does have the potential to match the electric racer’s performance, which can sprint from 0-62mph in under three seconds.

However, beyond out-right performance, the E-TENSE Performance also showcases new battery technology that the brand says opens us new possibilities for its future production EVs. The ‘compact’ unit is housed in a carbon-aluminium composite structure that’s located just behind the centre of the car, and uses ‘innovative’ battery chemistry and a unique cooling system design. 

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Meanwhile, the E-TENSE Performance’s energy regeneration system is so powerful (with a maximum capacity of 600kW) that, according to DS, it’s the only system used for slowing the electric coupe down. The car does retain a set of conventional brakes, too, but for use in emergency situations.

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Although DS hasn't confirmed whether or not it’ll make a two-door coupe like the E-TENSE Performance in the future, it does preview DS’s new design language and some elements that may feature in the next-generation of its EVs. 

For example, in place of a grille, the E-TENSE Performance gets a new ‘surface for expression’ which is flanked by ultra-slim daytime running lights consisting of 800 individual LEDs. Elsewhere, there are typically wild concept car touches, like a ‘Beetle-effect’ paint job that shifts colour depending on the weather conditions – as well as the angle you’re viewing the car from. The black bonnet and rear deck contrast with the bold paint job. 

The car also features 21-inch alloy wheels with aerodynamic inserts, as well as heavily sculpted body panels and a large rear diffuser. Inside, the bucket seats and steering wheel are also taken from a Formula E car.

DS has pledged that all models it launched from 2024 will be electric-only; the next of which is expected to be a zero-emissions version of the new DS 4 hatchback; electric variants of the closely related Peugeot 308 and Vauxhall Astra have already been confirmed.

DS’s current line-up already includes plug-in hybrid versions of the DS 4, DS 7 SUV and DS 9 luxury saloon, as well as one pure-electric model: the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE

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Welcome one and all, I’m Ellis the news reporter on Auto Express, the brand’s former online reviews editor and contributor to DrivingElectric. I’m proud to say I cut my teeth reporting and reviewing all things EV as the content editor on DrivingElectric. I joined the team while completing my master’s degree in automotive journalism at Coventry University and since then I’ve driven just about every electric car and hybrid I could get my hands on.

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