One of those forthcoming models will be an SUV based on the next-generation DS 3 hatch, as revealed by AutoExpress in the UK.
While the DS 3 hatch will continue on as a sporting three-door, designed to take on MINI’s three door hatch, the SUV will open up the five-door market to DS Automobiles smallest offering.
As well as picking up an extra pair of doors, the DS 3 SUV will also benefit from a raised ride height, and plastic cladding on the sills and wheel arches to give it a more rough-and-tumble appearance.
Beneath the skin however, the SUV will be pure DS 3, maintaining that car’s front wheel drive layout, with an all wheel drive system deemed too costly to add the PSA group’s modular platform given the unexpectedly low take-up rate for all-paw cars in this fashion-led market segment.
Up front the DS 3 SUV will wear the ‘DS Wings’ chrome framed hexagonal grille, leading into the headlights, while the bodyside will take the shark fin B-pillar motif from the DS 3 and shift it to the C-pillar. Tail lights will wear the new DS signature as seen on the Chinese-market DS 4S hatch shown recently at the Guangzhou Motor Show.
Motivation will come from Citroen’s existing range of 1.2 and 1.6 litre petrol engines, modified slightly to suit Europe's tightening emissions regulations. A 1.6 litre diesel is also expected, based on a heavily re-worked version of the current BlueHDi diesel.
Competition for the DS 3 SUV will come from Mini’s second-generation Countryman, and the upcoming Audi Q1, however both of those vehicles are likely to offer all wheel drive, and a selection of more powerful engines.
China is a key market for DS Automobiles, and as such the DS 3 will be designed with the extra rear legroom requirement of that market in mind. Unlike the larger DS 6WR SUV already available in China, the DS 3 SUV will be offered in Europe and other parts of the world.
All that remains to be finalised is the name. DS has recently split the DS 4 range into two lines, with a regular hatch, and a high riding version wearing the Crossback name, however the dedicated DS 6 SUV wears the ‘WR’ suffix meaning the DS 3 could be tagged WR, or perhaps another new alphabetical suffix might be used.
Either way, expect the new compact SUV to make its concept debut late in 2017 with a production version expected to arrive in 2018, alongside the regular DS 3 hatch.
Note: 2014 Citroen CX-R concept shown at top of page.
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