France’s answer to the Audi R8 e-tron

Launched in 2009 as the premium division of Citroen, the DS brand became a standalone entity in 2014. The first separation took place in China, where the DS 5LS and DS 6WR were sold in distinct dealerships. With the facelift of the DS5 in 2015, the DS brand was also separated from Citroen in Europe. No longer sporting the Citroen badge, DS vehicles will soon become available in DS dealerships worldwide. Until then, DS is planning to launch more new models, one of which could be previewed by the E-Tense concept that was just confirmed for the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

While previous DS-badged vehicles were based on Citroen models and platforms, the E-Tense was conceived from a clean sheet, employing a design that blends the cues of a grand tourer with those of a modern sports car. And, unlike other models from the current DS lineup, it uses an electric drivetrain that cranks out more than 400 horsepower.

DS didn’t say whether the E-Tense is slated to spawn a production version in the future, but it could be a signal that the French brand is looking to enter the sports car market as well. We should find out more about that at the Geneva Motor Show next week, so make sure you stay tuned for details. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at DS’ most intriguing vehicle to date.

Updated 03/04/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the car’s official presentation at the 2016 Geneva

Motor Show. Click the "Pictures" tab to check them out!

Continue reading to learn more about the DS E-Tense Concept.

  • 2016 DS E-Tense Concept
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • 0-60 time:
    4.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:


2016 DS E-Tense Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 667361

Loosely based on the Divine concept showcased in 2015, the E-Tense features flowing lines and a sense of perpetual motion. It has the silhouette of a grand tourer, but DS sacrificed the elegance of GT-style vehicles in favor of a sportier appearance. And the result is downright fantastic.

The jewel-like headlamps are complemented by thin daytime running lights that run all the way into the splitter.

The front fascia is dominated by the large black grille with the DS badge, which is flanked by a par of slender headlamps featuring the brand’s latest LED Vision technology. The jewel-like headlamps are complemented by thin daytime running lights that run all the way into the splitter. These are crafted to appear as if they are beaded stitches in a nod to the world of high fashion.

Around back, the E-Tense also features slim and long taillights for a planted stance, but things get significantly more aggressive here thanks to the race-inspired diffuser and the Formula One-style lamp under the license plate. Another motorsport-like feature is the lack of a rear windscreen. Instead, it has a vented hood-like element with integrated indicator lights, which are inspired by the original Citroen DS from 1955.

Finally, the concept is finished in a custom Metallic Green Ametrine color highlighted by carbon-fiber inserts in the wheel arches, front hood, splitter, and rear diffuser.


2016 DS E-Tense Concept High Resolution AutoShow
- image 668648

The E-Tense’s interior is even wilder than the exterior. The cabin is packed with the finest materials, while the seats and dashboard are finished in a "watchstrap style" design with green accents. The instrument cluster is entirely digital and displayed on a huge 12-inch screen. A ten-inch touchscreen mounted on the center stack and oriented toward the driver grants access to a state-of-the art infotainment system. Other highlights include a digital rear-view mirror that receives images from a camera mounted at the rear of the car, and a "clean cabin" filtration system that "continuously identifies, analyses and filters exterior pollutants in order to purify the air in the cabin."

To highlight the E-Tense’s luxurious characteristics even further, DS joined forces with French luxury brands for a number of interior features. First up is a helmet harness design by Moynat. Unique to this car, the helmet is inspired by the Y-shaped straps used to secure spare tire in the trunk and consists of two main handles made of natural calfskin. It can be fastened securely to the driver’s seat to enhance safety, but it can also be removed and carried as a... bag. Pretty fancy, huh?

Next in line is a one-off watch by BRM Chronographers, which can be worn on the wrist or attached to the car’s center console. Finally, there’s an audio system made by Focal. The unit comes with nine Focal Utopia high-fidelity speakers that will transform the interior of the E-Tense into an "auditorium" thanks to its "highly sophisticated technology."

Needless to say, DS put a lot of effort in this concept’s interior, which is fancy and futuristic at the same time. DS says it took 800 hours to design, test and produce it, which says a lot about the craftsmanship behind the E-Tense’s cabin. I’ve always been a fan of French designs, but there’s one thing bothering me about the E-Tense’s interior. The grey upholstery looks awfully similar to the cheap plastic most automakers put in their entry-level cars and the green highlights aren’t exactly inspired. I’m sure that the cabin would’ve looked far better in a different color combination, but who am I to complain?


2016 DS E-Tense Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 667360

The E-Tense is a zero-emission vehicle that uses an electric motor rated at 402 horsepower and 516 Nm (381 pound-feet) of torque. The motor gets its juice from lithium-ion batteries placed under the car’s carbon chassis and enables the coupe to travel up to 360 km on a single charge. DS had nothing to say about the E-Tense’s performance, but given the carbon-fiber tub and the lightweight construction, the sprint from 0 to 62 mph should take less than four seconds. The E-Tense rides on independent, double-wishbone suspension in the front and rear, and the wheels are wrapped in specially developed Michelin tires. More info should be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 100% electric 402 HP
Acceleration 4.5 seconds from 0 to 100 km
Range 360km (urban cycle) or 310km (mixed cycle)
Maximum torque 381 LB-FT
Top speed 250 KM/H (155 MPH)


2016 DS E-Tense Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 667364

Granted, the E-Tense is a spectacular concept, even for a brand owned by Citroen, which is known for its advanced show cars and daring designs. In many ways, the E-Tense is DS’ less powerful answer to the Audi R8 e-tron. But, while the market would need a competitor for the R8 and DS would probably manage to squeeze more power and torque out of that motor thanks to its experience in Formula E, the E-Tense isn’t very likely to see the light of day as a production model. Like many new companies, DS needs products like these to show off, and I’m afraid that the E-Tense will be nothing more than a show car. It’s still pretty cool, though...

  • Leave it
    • Not many details available as of now
    • Not likely to become a production model

Press Release

DS Automobiles will once again cause a stir with a unique Supercar when the avant-garde brand unveils DS E-TENSE at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show next week. The electric-powered car’s luxury craftsmanship and cutting edge technologies will make it noteworthy not just for its striking appearance, but also for its hi-tech capability and exceptional performance.

2016 DS E-Tense Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 667363

It will perfectly encapsulate the brands stylistic and technological vision, and point towards DS’s future with its high-performance electric powertrain.

A year after the official launch of the brand, DS Automobiles is unveiling the head-turning DS E-TENSE at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, an electric-powered Supercar that silently produces 516Nm of torque, 402hp and zero emissions.

Measuring 4.72m long and 1.29m high, DS’s ambition with the DS E-TENSE is to create a high-performance electric GT car that brings together state-of-the-art technology and avant-garde design.

Avant-garde design meets cutting-edge technology

All those who set eyes on the DS E-TENSE will instantly notice its unique styling, flowing lines and sense of perpetual motion. With the silhouette of a grand tourer coupé emphasised by a central chrome-plated spine and an exclusive metallic green ametrine body colour, the DS E-TENSE evokes one simple desire, and that is to be driven.

2016 DS E-Tense Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 667362

DS applied its avant-garde design styling to this vehicle and similar to the Divine DS, removed the rear windscreen at the back, giving the design team a huge amount of freedom to mould its contours and make use of digital rear-view technology.

A unique DS trademark feature, the front and rear lights were the object of scrupulous attention, with the DS LED Vision headlamps that are jewel-like in design. The daytime running lights – picked out as if in beaded stitches, a nod to the world of high fashion – accentuate the car’s expressive gaze. At the rear, the indicators integrated into the roof are inspired by the original DS from 1955. Finally, the light signature’s show-stoppers are the tail lights: equipped with full LED technology and scale-like in design, they seem to spring to life whenever the car is in use, setting the trend for future DS models.

As for the car’s interior, it is an example of the alchemy that occurs when French savoir-faire is combined with superior materials. DS upholsterers took 800 hours to design, test and produce the interior, with particular emphasis on the upgraded watchstrap style design on the seats and dashboard. Other noteworthy features include the cold steel used for the dashboard, creating a futuristic look, and the strongly marked tulip-shape of the steering wheel.

DS joins forces with leading French luxury brands

To raise this interior to new heights of sophistication, bespoke accessories have been created in collaboration with French luxury brands – products born of skills that embody the DS values in every respect.

A helmet harness by Moynat

2016 DS E-Tense Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 667361

The artistic director of Moynat came up with this unique object by drawing inspiration from the Y-shaped straps that used to secure the trunk, thus holding the spare tyre to the back of an automobile. The harness consists of two main handles made of natural calfskin with a staining that will become deeper and more lustrous with age. Inside, there is a supple leather pouch. Entirely hand-made by highly skilled craftsman, the harness seamlessly perpetuates the venerable tradition of French fine leather goods. Its function is multipurpose: it can be fastened securely to the driver’s seat in such a way that absolute safety is guaranteed, but it can also be removed and has been designed to carry a helmet in a practical yet elegant way, so doubles as a bag about town.

A one-off edition watch by BRM Chronographers

Watchmaking technology is refined to its very essence in this timepiece specifically designed for the driver of the DS E-TENSE. It can be worn on the wrist or affixed to the car’s central console. The case is angled at 90° so that the time is viewable while driving.

A first-class audio system by Focal

A silent car doesn’t mean that sound is not a crucial consideration. For an exclusive experience, 9 Focal Utopia high-fidelity loudspeakers transform the interior of the DS E-TENSE into an auditorium to satisfy the most demanding listeners. Top-of-the-range speakers utilising highly sophisticated technology are a reflection of the car itself.

DS has taken an unprecedented approach in choosing to build partnerships with companies rarely seen on the automotive stage.

Advanced technological solutions working together

A high-performance electric car

As a Formula E World Championship competitor, DS Automobiles has equipped its latest creation with a 100% electric 402hp engine that produces 516Nm of torque, delivering propulsion that is clean, silent, but above all efficient and powerful. Add the 310km mixed cycle range (or 360km urban cycle) and the DS
E-TENSE takes its rightful place among the ranks of high-performance GTs.

The lithium-ion batteries are situated under the car’s chassis, which keeps the centre of gravity low and enables even torque distribution between the axles.

Features developed using parametric design

2016 DS E-Tense Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 667360

Following close behind the DS 4 Concept, it was the DS E-TENSE’s turn to see certain elements take shape through the use of an innovative and avant-garde design method. Already established in couture and architecture spheres, parametric tools enable surface and volume to be generated in a unique way.

There is no better example of this than the DS E-TENSE’s dashboard, sculpted to futuristic effect. Likewise the radiator grille at the front, also a product of parametric design but here used in conjunction with 3D printing.

Making the move from DS LED VISION to DS ACTIVE LED VISION

A concept car represents a road map for the future. The DS E-TENSE takes DS LED Vision – a hallmark of all current DS vehicles – to the next level, making it active. All the LED modules are worked into the design in a way that a jeweller or watchmaker would practice their craft. They now rotate at 180°. Furthermore there is a welcome mode for the driver, and most importantly new features including a high-way function for motorway driving and a weather function that widens the beam in rain, snow and fog. DS ACTIVE LED VISION pushes back the outer edges of darkness for an ultimately safe drive.

State-of-the-art technology, evidence of remarkable attention to detail

The car presents other examples of the latest technology, such as digital rear vision that works with the camera at the back, or the innovative “clean cabin” filtration system that works with the air conditioning to provide active protection for passengers. The system continuously identifies, analyses and filters exterior pollutants in order to purify the air in the cabin.


A unique creation, for people who want to give free rein to their passion for cars, without compromising on driveability or performance… this is what DS E-TENSE represents.

The two-seater monocoque chassis is manufactured from carbon fibre and equipped with independent superimposed double wishbone suspension. As the batteries are located beneath the floor, the centre of gravity is low, allowing the car to handle with rigour, precision and verve, all in total safety (especially given the even torque distribution between the axles). Meanwhile, the streamlined silhouette, the carbon fibre diffuser and the flat underbody all contribute significantly to its aerodynamic performance. The specially developed Michelin tyres (able to sustain the high torque electric powertrain) are also noteworthy for the safe and comfortable drive they guarantee, even at top speeds.

This safety and comfort is facilitated by high-definition digital instrumentation: a 12-inch digital handset is coupled with a 10-inch touchscreen. The ergonomic design of the controls is efficient and intuitive, thanks to an electronic system developed in collaboration with Coyote.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: