DS Automobiles is a French luxury car brand that has been making waves in the electric car market with its stylish and innovative models. But did you know that DS is also a powerhouse in Formula E, the world's premier electric racing series?
As the official partner of Techeetah, the reigning Formula E champion team, DS has been involved in 100 races since the inception of the series in 2014. That's a remarkable achievement for a brand that was only launched as a standalone entity in 2015 after being spun off from Citroën.
DS and Techeetah have won two drivers' titles and two teams' titles in Formula E, making them one of the most successful combinations in the history of the sport. Their star driver, Jean-Éric Vergne, is the only driver to have won two Formula E championships in 2018 and 2019.
But what makes DS so good at Formula E? And how does their racing success translate to their road cars? Let's take a closer look at how DS Automobiles is leading the charge in electric mobility.
How DS Automobiles Became a Formula E Force
Formula E is a unique racing series that challenges car manufacturers to develop and showcase their electric technology in a competitive environment. The races take place on temporary street circuits in major cities around the world, such as Paris, New York, Rome, and Hong Kong.
Unlike traditional motorsports, Formula E cars are powered by batteries that need to be managed carefully throughout the race. Drivers also have to contend with changing weather conditions, tight corners, and unpredictable overtaking maneuvers.
To succeed in Formula E, car manufacturers need to deeply understand electric powertrains, battery management, aerodynamics, and software optimization. They must also have a strong driver lineup, a reliable team, and a winning strategy.
DS Automobiles has proven to have all these qualities and more. Since joining forces with Techeetah in 2018, DS has developed some of the most advanced and efficient electric race cars in the series. Their current car, the DS E-TENSE FE21, boasts a power output of 250 kW (335 hp) and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.8 seconds.
The DS E-TENSE FE21 also features a regenerative braking system that can recover up to 250 kW of energy during deceleration, allowing the car to extend its range and performance. The car's aerodynamics are designed to minimize drag and optimize cooling, while its software is constantly updated to improve its efficiency and responsiveness.
DS Automobiles has also invested heavily in its driver development program, recruiting some of the best talents in the industry. Besides Vergne, who is currently second in the drivers' standings, DS also has António Félix da Costa, the reigning Formula E champion, who joined the team in 2019.
Together, Vergne and da Costa form a formidable duo that can challenge any rival on any track. They have won six races and scored 14 podiums for DS Techeetah so far and are aiming for more glory in the remaining races of the season.
How DS Automobiles Transfers Its Racing Know-How to Its Road Cars
But DS Automobiles is not just racing for fun. The brand clearly sees becoming a leader in electric mobility for the mass market. And to achieve that goal, it is using Formula E as a testing ground and a showcase for its road car technology.
As DS Automobiles' CEO, Béatrice Foucher, said: "Formula E is much more than just a race for us; it's an incredible laboratory that allows us to test, develop and improve technologies that we can then apply directly to our production cars."
Indeed, DS Automobiles has already transferred some of its racing innovations to its road cars, such as the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE and the DS 7 Crossback E-TENSE. These two of the most popular models in DS's lineup offer a blend of luxury, performance, and efficiency.
The DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE is a compact SUV that can travel up to 320 km (199 miles) on a single charge, thanks to its 50 kWh battery pack. Using a fast charger, it can also recharge up to 80% of its capacity in just 30 minutes. The car has a power output of 100 kW (136 hp) and can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.7 seconds.
The DS 7 Crossback E-TENSE is a larger SUV that features a plug-in hybrid system with a petrol engine and two electric motors. It can travel up to 58 km (36 miles) on electric mode only or up to 600 km (373 miles) on hybrid mode. It has a combined power output of 220 kW (300 hp) and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds.
Both cars benefit from DS's expertise in electric powertrains, battery management, aerodynamics, and software optimization. They also feature some of the latest technologies in safety, comfort, and connectivity, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, head-up display, wireless charging, and smartphone integration.
DS Automobiles plans to launch more electric and hybrid models in the future, aiming for electrification across its entire range by 2025. The brand also has ambitious plans for autonomous driving, with its DS X E-TENSE concept car showcasing its vision for the future of mobility.
The DS X E-TENSE is a futuristic coupe that can transform into different modes depending on the driver's preferences. It can switch from an autonomous mode that offers maximum comfort and relaxation to a sporty mode that unleashes its full potential on the road or on the track.
The car's asymmetrical design allows it to adapt to different scenarios. On one side, it has a closed cockpit that can accommodate up to three passengers in a luxurious lounge-like environment. On the other side, it has an open cockpit that can fit one driver who can enjoy the thrill of driving without limits.
The car has a power output of up to 400 kW (540 hp) on road mode or up to 1,000 kW (1,360 hp) on circuit mode. It also has an advanced suspension system that adjusts height and stiffness according to the terrain.
The DS X E-TENSE is not just a fantasy; it is based on real technologies that DS Automobiles is developing for its future models. As Foucher said: "The DS X E-TENSE is not only an exercise in style; it's also our way of expressing our dreams and desires for tomorrow's mobility."
DS Automobiles is more than just a luxury car brand; it is also a pioneer in electric mobility and innovation. By participating in Formula E, DS Automobiles is demonstrating its technical excellence and its commitment to sustainability.
But more importantly, DS Automobiles uses Formula E to learn from its racing experience and apply it to its road cars. By doing so, DS Automobiles is offering its customers some of the best electric vehicles on the market today.
If you want a car that combines elegance, performance, efficiency, and technology, you should check out DS Automobiles. You might be surprised by what you find.