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DS3 performance in the driving report: Citroen's fast Nobel planer

Nicolas Zwickel
DS3-Performance (2016) 1.6 liter turbo
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W if you are Eric Apode, Asks the director of the 'Product and Development' department at DS, if he asks to sum up the DS3 Performance in one word, the manager ponders. There are so many things to say about it, he says. But no: one word, please! After a while he decides to be 'enthusiastic'. After all: He could have called the performance version 'divine'. But that's not it, he knows that.

If you look at him, the DS3 Performance looks more earthly, down-to-earth than stuck This is not least due to the track, which has been widened by 26 mm in the top version and is 15 mm lower. The exposed wheel arches also contribute to this, as do the 18-inch alloy wheels The 'DS Wings' introduced by the DS trademark on the front do not look angelic, but rather cheeky. As if he's grinning at you over both headlights. Not to mention the devilish red and black look including the double pipe exhaust.

Sporty seats and piano lacquer look in DS3 performance

Inside, it continues teasingly: chic leather racing shells and aluminum Pedals whisper in your ear that this is the 208 hp version. The seats are comfortable, variable and a cool detail for such a small speedster for both taller and shorter drivers. Otherwise, the performance shines from the inside, in the truest sense of the word, predominantly in a piano lacquer look. In black, of course, to match the roof. Rather unfavorable for cleaning devils with regard to fingerprints, but chic.

However, the steering wheel has proven to be less sporty and chic. That it is a bit too big for such a kart is perhaps still an argument. The lower part, however, is lavishly covered with plastic - it should look like aluminum, but it looks kind of cheap, does not go with the rest. In addition, the French could be credited with wanting to vaccinate the cockpit against the button epidemic. But the steering wheel is rather impractical without buttons. This can be seen later when driving.

Infotainment of the DS3 performance: modern, but with weaknesses

As far as infotainment is concerned, DS is cheeringly involved in the global digital coupling arms race of all car brands. 7 inch touchscreen: clear. Mirror screen for Apple and Android: logical. Navi: of course.Coupling works without any problems, but the touchscreen obviously has an attention deficit: Instead of reacting the first time and, for example, starting the route guidance tout de suite, he prefers to let the driver tapped the surface two or three times until he fulfilled his wish.

When it comes to the essentials, the DS3 is competent and, here we have it, actually enthusiastic. The clutch is depressed, the 'THP 208 Stop & Start' engine is started and the supercharged four-cylinder begins to bubble. The double exhaust prompts with a dark thump. Starting in first gear: Oops, that's fast! Second gear, his favorite level, follows quickly. Almost too jagged for the surroundings of a small French port town. The residents of St. Tropez are certainly used to completely different things, so that the croissant does not fall out of their mouths when they have a playful 1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine is still crisp, the pull to the front pulls with you because the Torsen differential ensures traction.

Tight steering, sporty chassis in the DS3-Performance version

Even in the higher gears, the DS3-Performance with 300 Nm of torque mimes the TGV rather than the stroll. No, the little racing devil really doesn't lack will and a positive attitude. That Gearbox f Unctioned reliable, the gears can be sorted wonderfully and the leather-covered gear knob sits comfortably in the hand. He also cuts a fine figure in the fifth and sixth, even if he feels more comfortable in the smaller corridors and can really crank it up there. The brake reacts straight away, is basically easy to dose, but could bite a little more vehemently in the last third.

The compromise concept of the DS3 can be clearly illustrated on the steering: It is tight and direct , but also forgives small mistakes made by the driver, sometimes bailing him out. When it comes to the chassis, on the other hand, he's less gracious and lets you feel the road as it is. Carrot and stick, so to speak. Pneumatic rocking around like 1955? - Passé.

DS3 performance: a compromise that partially works

The DS3 performance wants to combine sportiness with lifestyle. The dynamism is taken from him, as Peugeot Sport developer Thierry Chauvet did a good job with the conception of the drive train. It doesn't overwhelm drivers with little motorsport experience, but professionals are also pleasantly surprised by it. This is where the compromise works. A car to grow into, so to speak. However, we do not believe that the easy-revving turbo gasoline engine manages with CO2 emissions of 125g /km.

There is a need for action in terms of intuitive operation. It starts with adjusting the volume while driving: A well-designed multifunction steering wheel would be far less distracting than thatLook for the tiny buttons under the air conditioning that you first have to wiggle past the gear knob to operate. Menu navigation of the multimedia system also causes question marks on the pilot's forehead from time to time. A 'back button' would make things a lot easier.

The performance version of the DS3 can be bought from April. There are no prices for the top version as a sedan or convertible. However, the closed version costs with the THP 165 stop & start engine in the highest equipment variant 'Sport Chic' 23,490 euros, the convertible in the same version 26,290 euros. This means that the price of the performance variant should be somewhere between its competitors Mini Cooper S (sedan: 24,100 euros, convertible: 27,950 euros) and Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce (32,099 euros). Not exactly a bargain, but a worthwhile investment for driving fun in French.

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