This article also appears in
Subscribe now »

E-TENSE concept uses parametric design principles for the dashboard and front grill, 3D printed in metal. 

PSA's E-TENSE shows design cues for future DS models

According to the DS E-TENSE design team, the E-TENSE is not really a concept car because it offers a glimpse of design features that will be seen on future production models. One of the interior air vents is the same as that used on the recently revised DS3.

The concept, from PSA Peugeot Citroën's DS luxury brand, is of a high-performance electric two-seat coupe with lithium-ion batteries positioned under the floor. Supplying power to two electric motors, producing 300 kW (402 hp) and 516 N·m (381lb·ft), the batteries have a capacity of 53 kW·h.

Unusually for a PSA brand, the vehicle uses rear-wheel-drive through a 3-speed automated transmission designed specifically for the car. According to Olivier Desserprit, Brand Project Manager for DS Automobiles, this is to underline that future DS models will incorporate some form of electric propulsion, whether that is a plug-in hybrid or pure electric drive.

The car shares some design features with the DS Divine concept seen at the 2014 Paris Show. This includes the curved rear roofline without a rear window. Rearward vision is provided by a camera mounted at the rear of the car. Whereas the DS Divine was fitted with a scale-like finish over the body, the DS E-TENSE features a conventional paint finish. DS Divine was meant to demonstrate future design for DS over the next 10 years and E-TENSE is said to give a clearer indication of design for the next generation of DS cars.

The headlamps recall those of the original and groundbreaking Citroën DS of 1955. The car uses a group of four LED clusters in each headlamp. These are designed to move with the steering, just like the original DS, but each cluster can move independently, providing a cornering light, or to prevent glare for oncoming vehicles in highway driving.

Each cluster can rotate through 180° to provide features such as a welcome mode for the driver and a weather function to widen the beam when raining.

According to DS Design Manager Bertrand Dantec, the design of the daytime running lights on the E-TENSE will be adopted for future DS models.

“A particular feature of this car is parametric design,” Dantec told Automotive Engineering. This is used for the dashboard and front grille in particular.

“We have new technology — new CAD software with 3D printing in real metal,” he said. The technique is also used for producing some small trim parts. 

Feng shui was part of the design plan for the interior of the car, according to Dantec. Hand-stitched leather upholstery and door panels are used, with a watchstrap design used for both the seats and dashboard. The upholsterers took over 800 h to produce the design of the interior, test it and make it.

The two-seat monocoque is constructed from carbon fiber and suspension is by double wishbones. The Michelin tires were developed specifically for the car and are designed to handle the high torque characteristics of the electric drivetrain.

Continue reading »