French automaker Citroen is trying to balance luxurious design and an eco-friendly drive system with the DS3 Supermini. The DS3 Supermini will premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in late September as the first entrant in Citroen’s DS vehicle line. The picture above shows the sleek design of the DS3 Supermini including a roof matched to the interior finish and interesting B pillars. Citroen’s inaugural DS model is focused on both high-end styling and low-emissions operation.
Citroen will offer the DS3 Supermini in five different engine types including 90 horsepower and 110 horsepower diesel engines. The diesel versions of the DS3 Supermini feature Diesel Particulate Filter Systems to reduce emissions to meet stringent European standards. The automaker’s goal in developing all five versions of the DS3 Supermini is to meet the Euro 5 emissions standards enacted in September 2009.
The DS3 Supermini is able to achieve Euro 5 emissions and high mileage thanks to lightweight vehicle design. This diminutive coupe is only 12 feet long by 5 feet high but the interior is as roomy as competing vehicles. The DS3 Supermini features five passenger seats with a rear fold-down bench to allow greater storage for out-of-town trips and shopping sprees. Citroen’s latest foray into lighter, smarter vehicle design shows that the automaker can blend style with function.
Citroen installed several mechanisms within the DS3 Supermini to ensure high mileage and low emissions. The cruise control will be limited to relatively low speeds to reduce excessive fuel consumption at highway speeds. The DS3 Supermini will also feature a monitoring system that informs the driver about the right gearshifts and speeds to meet optimum levels of performance.
As the DS line advances in the future, Citroen is likely to focus on improving its drive system rather than using lightweight bodies and monitoring systems to achieve its performance goals. While the DS3 Supermini may not please fans of truly green vehicles, Citroen is taking a step in the right direction for the future of automotive design. The creation of hybrid drive trains and components is meaningless unless there is a commensurate change in vehicle design. We need only look at “soft” hybrids like the Ford Escape Hybrid to understand this point. The DS3 Supermini is the first step in Citroen’s evolution into an automotive leader even as the European Union tightens restrictions on carbon emissions.