The new hot hatch version of Citroën’s DS3 looks set to sell out before it’s even reached showrooms. Not bad for a car with a price tag of £23,100.
Revealed in concept form at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the DS3 Racing is – for now – a strictly limited edition car and Citroën is only expected to bring 200 to the UK.
Citroën says it has already had more than 1,500 queries ahead of order books opening on September 1, so if you like the look of it you’ll have to move fast to secure one.
Citroën Racing influence
So why the buzz? The DS3 Racing has been built with help from Citroën Racing, the team behind Sebastien Loeb’s utter dominance of the World Rally Championship in recent years. Indeed, Loeb and his colleagues will be ditching their C4 WRC cars for DS3s next season. Ahead of that, Citroën Racing has worked its magic on the roadgoing version. Upgrades include a wider track, lower ride height, revised dampers and bigger brakes.
There is, of course, more power too. Based on the DS3 DSport 1.6 THP, power has been raised from 154bhp to 204bhp. It will hit 62mph from rest in just 6.5 seconds – nearly half a second quicker than the Renaultsport Clio 200 – and goes on to 146mph. Most impressively, it achieves this while emitting CO2 of just 149g/km – better even than the Mini JCW’s 165g/km and in a different league to the Clio’s 195g/km.
It certainly looks the part too; the concept car’s lairy black-and-orange colourscheme has been carried over to the production version, with an additional black and white option also available. The spec is generous too, with plenty of real carbon fibre trim, sports seats, switchable stability control (ESC), Bluetooth and a thumping eight-speaker stereo. First deliveries are expected early next year.