This hard-core saloon is the most powerful Citroen ever built.
This is the Citroen DS 5LS R that will star at the Beijing motor show in a few weeks. The clunkily-named model is a C-segment saloon that’s based on the DS 5LS, which was unveiled in December 2013, but this R version is a race version in the vein of the DS3 Racing and DS4 Racing models.
So what’s the ‘racing’ gear on it?
The real stuff is under the bonnet: the 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder engine that’s seen service in Citroen’s DS3, the Mini Cooper S, and of course wound up to 267bhp for the Peugeot RCZ R. The 5LS R has even more: a substantial 300bhp, and a punchy 295lb ft of torque. That’s 187.5bhp per litre: 10bhp more per-litre than the 355bhp turbo four-cylinder made by AMG for its A-class monsters. It’s also 96bhp more than the DS3 Racing, and the 254bhp in the DS4 Racing Concept.
Sadly, Citroen has not supplied any performance figures, or a weight, but the R could have a 0-62mph time in the realm of 5.5sec.
What about outside?
There are subtle changes, including black window surrounds instead of the regular version’s chrome, which extend over the C-pillar as a subtle shark’s fin. There are also new fog-lamp housings, R badging replacing the DS logos, as well as the same 20in alloys – but now they’re chrome with red highlights. There’s also a ‘carbon’ matt stripe down each front door, and the R sits 15mm lower, too.
Head inside, and there’s new sports seats, with R logos of course, made of leather and Alcantara. There are also splashes of red on the steering wheel, which also gets lashings of carbonfibre – as do the door trims and handles.
So will they make it – and how much?
Let’s say it’s a fifty-fifty shot at production. Of Citroen’s two racing models so far – the DS3 Racing and the DS4 Racing – the DS3 made it to showrooms, and the DS4 didn’t. Even if it does make showrooms, they’re likely to be in Beijing, not Birmingham. Even if it does make the UK, the Citroen faces stiff competition from C-segment rivals like the £30k Golf R, or the £33k Audi S3 Saloon. Given that the DS3 Racing was £23k, it’d have to be £30k or less to stand a fighting chance.
The one thing this car does show is the styling direction and identity for all future DS models, so we’ll see some of the same ideas on cars in the UK even if the 5LS R doesn’t make it here.
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