In case you missed the memo, DS is now a standalone brand, rather than a subset of Citroen. So says Citroen, anyway. To celebrate there’s a new DS concept, and it’s absolutely Divine. No seriously, that’s what it’s called: the Divine DS.
Citroen's Divine DS: how big is it?
At 4.21m long and 1.35m high, the Divine is around 4cm shorter and 11cm lower than a VW Golf, suggesting the next DS production model may be a C-segment challenger. However, it’s no hatchback, as that crazy roof – made up from alternating matt, satin, opaque and transparent diamonds – totally eliminates the rear window.
Other unusual details on the outside include the ‘DS wings’ at the front, retracting rear light elements, that swanky chrome swage line – which hides the door handles – and the ‘floating’ diamonds in the grille. There are more diamond shapes on the door mirrors as well, and additional chrome edging the sills and the exhaust outlets too. The headlights incorporate laser tech like the latest Audis and BMWs, sequential indicators and ‘Swarovski Crystal Fabric’.
Are the Divine DS’s designers off their heads?
If you think the outside looks mad – actually, we think it looks rather beautiful – the interior is entirely off the reservation. The dashboard appears to fold in half as it wraps a centre console that’s officially modelled after a backbone.
It's set with cut and polished stones, including gold-flecked black granite for the clock surround. The stonework picks up all the unusual reflections and refractions from the roof, stunning the rear passengers just enough to distract them from that missing rear window. Citroen calls the back seat a ‘sophisticated cocoon’. We call it claustrophobic.
The instrumentation combines a 10.4-inch roof-mounted touchscreen – which doubles as the rear-view mirror via a camera – with holograms and a head-up display. The Austin Allegro generously donates its square steering wheel.
For all that, it’s the ‘hypertypage’ (that’s hyper-typage) customisation options that really throw the screws loose. This is personalisation taken to new haute couture heights, as the DS brand aims to bring in extreme individualisation to support its premium pretensions. In the Divine this embodies three themes for the dashboard and doors that can be swapped in just 15 minutes: Mâle, Parisian Chic and Fatale Punk.
The first uses carbonfibre as a textile alongside glazed and burnished leather, and is claimed to be ‘highly masculine’. The second combines full-grain ivory leather, pleated silk satin, beads and crystals, all embroidered together in an echo of the DS logo by ‘globally recognised’ French firm, Lesage. The third is darker and ‘more glamorous’, with padded leather punctuated by crystals, and further Swarovski Crystal Fabric for the doors. This unusual material apparently incorporates ‘millions’ of tiny cut and uncut crystals for a ‘rock star ambience’.
Enough of this haute couture nonsense: how fast is the Divine DS?
Whatever the weight of all this high fashion, the Divine DS won’t be slow – it’s powered by the 266bhp and 243lb ft 1.6-litre THP turbo petrol from the Peugeot RCZ R.
We’re not so sure about the 20-inch wheels though, given the rather firm ride offered by some other DS models. But the way the floating spokes are disconnected from the hubs is supposed to suggest the aerodynamic efficiency of the car as a whole.
The Divine DS first appears in public at the Chantilly Concours d’Elegance on 7 September, before appearing at the Paris motor show on 2 October 2014.