DS CEO won’t rule out making 591kW Formula E powered coupe with the same powertrain as its Formula E cars, but a road-going version would be difficult.
The DS brand has been part of Formula E racing since 2015, and this new concept car, the DS E-Tense Performance Prototype, is perhaps the best passenger car manifestation of the brand’s zero emissions racing technology yet.
The E-Tense Performance is an all-electric coupe that makes use of a body made entirely out of carbon fibre and a powertrain lifted from the electric racing series. It consists of a dual electric motor setup, providing drive to all four wheels. Maximum power stands at 591kW, while the system’s maximum torque output stands at a colossal 8000Nm.
No speculative performance figures have been confirmed, but it’s not hard to imagine that the concept would achieve similar numbers to a second-generation Formula E car, with 0-100km/h in around 2.8 seconds. It will be put through its paces by Formula E champions Jean Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa when it becomes a running prototype.
But it’s not just a showcase for motor technology, the E-Tense Performance also reveals future battery and regeneration concepts. A ‘compact’ battery in a carbon-aluminium composite housing is placed in a low position, just past the centre of the car, and it features ‘innovative’ battery chemistry and a new thermal management system.
The brand says this battery system is a future technology that could trickle into future production cars. All cars that DS will launch from 2024 onwards will be fully electric.
The regeneration system is so powerful that while the car has brakes, the brand claims it doesn’t necessarily require them. It has a maximum regenerative capacity of 600kW.
“It is a laboratory that we will use to analyse the behaviour of components and to develop them with a view to future manufacturing,” explains DS Performance director Thomas Chevaucher.
“The idea is also to find solutions to lower costs, make them easier to manufacture and explore implementations in production models. The next generations of the E-Tense range will benefit from these developments.”
However, while the E-Tense Performance is a showcase of DS battery and motor technology, it’s also a preview of the brand’s next design language.
DS hasn’t teased whether or not a coupe like the E-Tense Performance is in the production plan, but has said that the front end in particular points to the design direction planned for the brand’s next-generation of all-electric cars.
A new surface takes the place of the grille, and is flanked by expressive LED daytime running lights made up of 800 individual LED units. But the rest of the car showcases aerodynamic developments, with various cuts and ridges, and new 21-inch wheels with aerodynamic inserts.
Some touches are more typical of a concept car, such as the replacement of the headlights with a camera system for data collection. The paint scheme is similarly show stand, with a ‘beetle-effect’ pearlescent paint that shifts colour depending on the angle the car is viewed from.
Inside, the coupe gets typical sports car touches such as a pair of bucket seats, while the steering wheel is taken directly from a Formula E racer.