Chicks dig BMW 5-Series and Citroen DS3 – it’s official

April 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Many men spend time wondering what exactly is the best car to own if you want to impress the ladies. A Kermit green Series 2 Mazda RX-7 may have done the trick twenty five years ago, but in 2011 women are more impressed by style, economy and practicality. So if you want to win some points pick up your date in a BMW 5-Series or a Citroen DS3.

Because us men were never going to uncover these important results ourselves a crack team of woman motoring writers from around the globe recently held the annual Women’s World Car of the Year for 2011. The voting finished so close that the supreme award produced a dead heat between the BMW 5 Series and the Citroen DS3. So gents, if you’re on a budget go for French style in the DS3, if your cashed-up, then spring for the current 5-Series BMW and don’t cheapen out of the leather trim.

Category winners and runners up in the competition included:

Family Car Winner  – Volvo S60
Runner up – Kia Sportage

Sports Car Winner – Aston Martin Rapide
Runner up – Audi TT

Luxury Car Winner – BMW 5 Series
Runner up – Jaguar XJ

Economical Car Winner – Citroen DS3
Runner up – Mini One Diesel Continue reading “Chicks dig BMW 5-Series and Citroen DS3 – it’s official” »

Citroen DS3 Racing launched in Europe

August 25th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Citroen has launched the Citroen DS3 Racing, the limited edition version of the DS3 – Citroen’s new premium small car which arrives in New Zealand in September.

The Citroen DS3 Racing is styled to match the image of the Citroen Racing Team which is currently dominating the World Rally Championship and has enabled Citroen to take five WRC constructors’ rally world titles and six driver and co-driver titles for Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena.

Based on the Citroen DS3’s top trim and equipment level, the Racing version is suitably sports-focused and boasts features such as the integration of carbon elements and specific equipment from competitive motor racing. Developed by Citroen Racing, its 1.6 litre engine develops 149 kW and enables it to reach 100 kmh in 6.5 seconds from a standing start. Its chassis and suspension have also been developed to offer precision handling and road holding.

The Racing-inspired design includes features such as a front air diffuser, a chrome twin-pipe exhaust and the carbon fibre work on much of its bodywork elements including the air diffuser, semi-rigid spoiler for the front bumper, lower skirting, spoilers and grille. The Citroen DS3 Racing is fitted with large 18 inch wheels with a new design and is available in two colors, Onyx black with orange trim or Banquise White with grey trim. Its sporting character is finished off with some custom decals.

The passenger compartment from the Citroen DS3 has received the same specific treatment as the exterior. The same external colour schemes and carbon designs can be found on numerous interior parts, such as the central front piece of the dashboard, the steering wheel trim or the handset cover supports.

The Citroen DS3 Racing’s exclusivity is proudly displayed with Citroen Racing signature on the backs of the front seats and on an identification plate located on the wheel trim.

While it’s an interesting machine it’s also unlikely we will see the Citroen DS3 Racing down here in NZ. With only 1000 examples to be built, a mere 200 of them will be built in right-hand-drive and all are earmarked for the UK. Continue reading “Citroen DS3 Racing launched in Europe” »

Citroen unveils DS3 RS rally car for weekend warriors

July 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Citroën is preparing to make a deeper move into the amateur rally circuit with its new DS3 R3, homologated for the FIA’s new Group R3T regulations. For those who have the money and are looking to get into rallying with a serious piece of kit, this might be the machine for them.

The French carmaker claims it’s “versatile, high performance and yet affordably-priced, DS3 R3 is set to become the new leader in its category,” about the rally-prepped DS3 that will be available in both in kit and ready-to-race versions.

The body design is almost identical to the production model, with a steel body shell reinforced by a welded, multi-point roll cage. In terms of power the DS3 R3 Rally car comes with an upgraded 1.6-litre turbocharged inline-four producing 210bhp and 350Nm of torque.

As with the Citroen’s higher-strength C4 WRC, the DS3 R3 is equipped with a six-speed sequential transmission (which marks a first for customer rally cars), the company claims the box allows for gear changes to be made twice as quickly over a traditional manual.

The suspension is variable and clever being redesigned and upgraded to make full use of the Group R regulations, allowing for a wide variety of setup options. Tubular wishbones are attached to a revised front subframe while the rear hubs are removable to allow for independent toe and camber adjustments. Rally-spec alloy wheels and an upgraded braking system are also part of the package.

Citroen releases glimpse of DS High Rider interior

April 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Citroen has released the first pictures of the inside of the its Geneva Motor Show concept car, the DS HighRider and revealed it is the basis for the next production model in the Citroen DS line, the Citroen DS4, following on from the debut model, the DS3, which will arrive in New Zealand during the Spring this year.

Like its body style, the cockpit of DS HighRider offers a dynamic look.The instrument panel, seats, and door panels are sheathed of “aniline full-grain type leather”. With the instrument panel, this high-quality leather displays the DS embossed initials. The seats are of a Bracelet design. The door panels are trimmed with grey through gold shading colours to match up with DS High Rider’s external looks.

The overall environment in the passenger compartment of the DS High Rider looks refined, helped largely by the contrast between a panoramic windshield and a dark roof panel.

Citroën DS3

March 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Citroën using cool interactive augmented reality technology to pitch new DS3.

Citroen DS3 Racing may come to NZ

February 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Citroen will take the wraps of the hot version of its new premium model, the DS3, which is due in New Zealand in August, when it reveals the 147 kW  Citroen DS3 Racing at the Geneva International Motor Show in March (2 March 2010).
Citroen’s dominance of the World Rally Championship – six manufacturers’ titles and seven drivers’ titles for Citroen’s Sébastien Loeb – over the past six years leaves little doubt that the French car maker has the ability to take its already critically lauded DS3 and turn it into a real performance machine.
Citroen is holding back the DS3 Racing’s performance figures for the Geneva Motor Show reveal, but there can be little doubt that with 147 kW and 275 Nm of torque on tap from its 1.6 litre turbocharged engine that was developed by the same engineers who produced the world beating Citroen C4 WRC, the DS3 Racing will offer exemplary performance.
The chassis of the DS3 has been thoroughly reworked to ensure that the DS3 Racing will go around corners as well as it goes in a straight line, with the suspension lowered, the track widened, 18 inch alloy wheels fitted, the springs stiffened and the shock absorbers re-rated. Additionally the brakes have been enlarged the ESP system has been reprogrammed to encourage more spirited driving and electronic responses that are in line with the new model’s sporting requirements.
The Citroen DS3 has set a new standard for style and exclusivity and this is further enhanced with the DS3 Racing with a special livery that enables it to stand apart from the DS3 range and ensures it looks as good as it performs.
“The Citroen DS3 Racing represents an outstanding concentration of behind-the-wheel thrills with an artful blend of performance and efficiency,” says Lawrie Malatios, General Manager for Citroen in New Zealand. “The DS3 Racing will take up its place in the DS3 range with an appealing combination of verve and vitality and it provides a clear indication of what we can expect when the DS3 arrives in New Zealand in August.”
The DS3 Racing will be launched in Europe with a limited series of 1,000 units in second-half 2010. New Zealand availability will be announced when the DS3 is launched in New Zealand in August.

Citroen DS3 coming to NZ in 2010

August 26th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Citroen DS3 fq

The Citroen DS3 will make its world debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show on 15 September 2009 and is apparently going to combine luxury, style and exclusivity in a smaller package that meets today’s demands for fuel efficient, low emission cars.

“The past few years have seen a significant change in market demand,” explains Lawrie Malatios, General Manager for Citroen in New Zealand. “Driven in many countries not just by a desire by motorists to do the right thing by the environment but also by aggressive tax regimes based on differential taxation based on emissions and fuel consumption, many motorists are now down-sizing their cars into market sectors that have in the past been almost the exclusive preserve of cheap, basic cars.”

“This new group of small car buyers want the advantages of owning a small car, but they also wish to maintain the style, comfort, equipment levels and exclusivity of larger cars. A well or even very well equipped version of an existing car in this size category is not sufficient for this new class of car buyers. They want a car designed and built to their specific needs and desires. The Citroën DS3 is this car, designed and built for style and exclusivity, equipped for luxury and comfort, but with the size and technology that makes it environmentally sensitive and easy to use in the city,” says Malatios.

The DS3 is the first Citroen model to use the new naming convention for its elite models and will be followed by the DS4 and DS5. Setting the DS3 apart from the rest of the Citroen range is its own style, including a ‘floating’ roof and a ‘shark fin’ that assists visual interest.

The DS3 also offers a high level of personalisation so each new owner can create a car to their own tastes. Exterior personalisation components include the roof, body, rearview mirror housings and wheels. Inside, customers get a choice of dashboard strip, gearstick knob and a host of other interior equipment with a range of colours, fabrics and materials.

The DS3’s emissions are as low as 99 g/km. It will ship in Europe with a choice of five carbon-efficient Euro V engines. Including two HDi DPFS units developing 110 bhp and 90 bhp and three petrol engines with the THP 150, VTi 120 and VTi 95.

The Citroen DS3 will arrive in New Zealand the second half of 2010, when local prices and specification will be announced.

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