2015 DS 3 Ines de la Fressange Paris Limited Edition
Last year at the Paris Motor Show, it was announced that the DS line of cars would break away from Citroen to form its own premium brand. At the same show, two concepts were also unveiled, a DS 3 and DS 3 Cabriolet, each bearing the touch of French fashion label Ines de la Fressange Paris.
DS hopes to distinguish itself from its parent company as a brand focused on style, refinement, and luxury, as compared to the more pragmatic and accessible Citroen reputation. With 2015 slated as the first year of the individualized DS brand, the non-cabriolet concept from last year will now be offered in a limited-production run available for purchase, kicking things off in a truly Parisian style.
This limited-edition DS 3 was specifically designed to draw the attention of the fashion-conscious, by upgrading the exterior and interior with new colors and a few equipment additions. The result is a highly stylized hatchback that’s a visual standout among its plain-Jane counterparts. But is it worth the money?
Continue reading to learn more about the DS 3 Ines de la Fressange Paris Limited Edition.
2015 DS 3 Ines de la Fressange Paris Limited Edition
0-60 time:7 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)
The DS 3 is presented as a stylish and well-appointed option compared to its equivalent from Citroen, the C3 supermini. It’s a car designed to take on the busy streets of Paris, with proportions that are small enough to navigate through narrow, crowded byways, but with an exterior that still possesses enough grace and poise to be at home parked in front of the latest en vogue café.
The front end employs the classic Citroen double-chevron grille, as well as pointed headlights that are pulled taut along the fenders. A large central air intake is punctuated on either side by dual fog lamps. Behind each lamp is an additional faux vent, completing a look that, in my opinion, is stylish but balanced.
Moving to the side, we find a mildly curving roofline and silver strakes protruding from the door. The wheels pick up the metallic color, pushing the eye either back to the front grille or up to the silver door handles. The gently puffed-up rear fenders are smoothed into the hatch, with a design that’s decidedly simpler than that found on the rest of the car.
The Ines de la Gressange Paris edition adds distinction by covering the body panels in “Sporting Encore” blue paint, complemented by an Onyx black roof treatment, and “Rouge Ines” red side-view mirror covers. The combination of a dark blue and black palette, punctuated by silver and red, is unusual, but to my eye, remains cohesive when viewed as a total package.
Full LED headlights with sequential turn indicators put the cherry on top.
Inside the DS 3, you’ll find seating for five, round gauges and square air vents. DS says the limited-edition version received attention to “the slightest details in terms of colours and materials.” This becomes apparent when taking in the dash and steering wheel, as the “Rouge Ines” red color scheme found on the side view mirrors stretches its way through the cabin, connecting the left and right sides of the vehicle. The deep blue “Sporting Encore” paint is mirrored in the seat upholstery, while the silver from the profile strakes finds its way into the flat-bottomed steering wheel. The front-seat headrests are also customized.
With so many different colors splashed around, you’d think the result would be far too busy. However, like the exterior, I feel as though DS still manages to find a way to keep it cohesive, with each hue mirrored elsewhere on the car. Some may find the disparate color scheme jarring, but others will certainly see it as appealing.
DS has been tight-lipped about details of the drivetrain, merely stating the special edition will sport “four environment-friendly engines.” However, looking at the current front-engine, FWD DS 3, we can deduce that these will include a naturally aspirated, gasoline-powered 1.4-liter inline-four, a naturally aspirated, gasoline-powered, 1.6-liter inline-four, a turbocharged, gasoline-powered 1.6-liter inline-four, and a turbocharged, diesel-powered 1.6-liter inline-four. Top output among these would go to the turbo 1.6-liter gas unit, which should lay down 204 horsepower and 203 pound feet of torque.
Like previous DS 3 models, the handling should be tight and nippy, adept at slicing through traffic or taking on prolonged roundabouts. Navigating your way to that ideal parking spot in front should be a breeze.
Given the choice between a five-speed manual, six-speed manual, and four-speed automatic, I’d expect this limited-edition DS 3 to come with the six-speed manual, which would make for a 0-to-62 mph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 146 mph when mated to the top engine. Even with this relatively gutsy performance, emissions are a mere 149 g/km.
The DS 3 Ines de la Fressange Paris Limited Edition starts at 23,950 euros, which converts to $27,224 at current exchange rates (2/25/15). That makes this a rather expensive DS 3, but I guess that’s the price you pay for high fashion.
Since the early 2000s, MINI has been a brand that’s all about style. The cars aren’t all that mini anymore, but with all that extra weight and size comes a plethora of special editions and models designed to fit any lifestyle that calls for a definitively British fashion statement.
The exterior is a modern take on a retro shape, with an oval front air dam, oval headlights, and racing stripes on the hood that stretch back into smoothed-out body lines. Inside, things are much the same, with a large, centrally mounted command screen set in a circular bezel. There’s seating for four, nice materials, and a variety of interior packages to make your Mini yours.
Under that adorable faux hood scoop, you’ll see either an inline-three-cylinder 1.5-liter gasoline engine with 136 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, an inline-four-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline engine with 192 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque, or an inline-three-cylinder 1.5-liter diesel engine with 116 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox comes standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional.
Handling is quick and responsive, exactly as it should be in a small FWD hatchback. But this isn’t a race, this is about style. And when it comes to standing out and turning heads, the Mini is hard to beat. Well, it used to be.
If it’s a battle of fashion, the Italians have one or two things to say. Enter the Fiat 500. It’s small, sporty, and every bit as eye-catching as the DS 3 or Mini. It’s a package that’s a bit more polished, a bit more neat than the “look at me please” DS. This thing gets attention without even really trying.
Inside, there’s lots to be happy about. There’s a 7-inch, high-definition TFT cluster display that reads out pertinent data like speed, fuel level, and trip information. It also puts up a feed from the rear-facing camera for parking assist. Rounding out the features are Bluetooth connectivity and a USB media interface port.
Under the hood is an inline-four-cylinder MultiAir gasoline-powered engine putting out 101 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. While not enough to set any lap records other than its own, it should be able to get the job done for around-town stop-and-go. And with the fun handling characteristics, speed in the corners shouldn’t be a problem.
Normally, I’m not a fan of special editions that only add a dab of extra paint to the exterior and some odds and ends to the interior. This one is a bit different.
This particular DS 3 doesn’t make any promises it can’t keep. When you buy a car named after a fashion line, you should only expect something draped in a layer of finery, nothing more, nothing less, and that’s exactly what you get with the Ines de la Fressange Paris edition. It doesn’t label itself as a race car and then throw on some lower springs and call it a day. It doesn’t call itself an off-roader, then throw on some knobby tires and clock out. It’s simply a nicely appointed, good-looking DS 3 (albeit a rather expensive one).
If all you want is a hatchback with panache, you could do worse.