Citroen’s Numero 9 concept car previews the new face of all future DS cars from the French manufacturer, the design chief told CAR.
Thierry Metroz, director of design in Paris, said the Numero 9 was an ideas car, but admitted it would influence the look of production cars in the near future.
‘Look very closely at the grille – it is much more three-dimensional,’ he said. ‘The lights, the sense of sculpture and the way we incorporate the day running lights. This is the future face of DS.’
What else should we take note of on the Citroen Numero 9 concept car?
This is not a totally pie-in-the-sky concept car. It is an indication of a forthcoming large DS model (the 9 badge hinting at a DS9 style positioning) for the Chinese car market.
A production iteration will have less exaggerated proportions than this concept car – and it’ll be built in China through the new partnership with Chang’an at their new factory in Shenzhen.
So how does the Citroen ‘DS9’ influence the European DS models?
The Numero 9 has significance for European DS models, too. Metroz said he wanted the shape of the grille to predominate, with less reliance on the Citroen chevrons. He said the way Audis and BMWs were so recognisable even without seeing the brand emblem was something he was keen to introduce to Citroen.
The Numero 9 has no C-pillar and prefers a wraparound rear screen. ‘We already do this on the DS5 and it’s quite easy to do in production. It could become a DS signature,’ he added.
A signature design detail for every Citroen DS
Remember the cool chrome detail on the front of the Citroen DS5, the so-called ‘sabre’ bleeding from the A-pillar into the bonnet? Metroz is keen for every DS model to sport something similar.
‘The DS5 has the sabre, the DS3 has the shark’s fin side window graphic,’ he told CAR. ‘We would like every Citroen DS model to have something unique like these details. The DS range in future will be even more about French luxury.’
Citroen DS: a success story
The DS line has been deemed a success story for Citroen. Despite reservations at launch – hands up, from CAR too – the French have made a good stab of its semi-premium sub brand and is proving profitable business.
It has recently sold its 200,000th DS model globally in two years. Not huge volumes, but in 2011 it accounted for 7% of Citroen sales globally. That’s likely to double in 2012.