DS Automobiles has applied all of the know-how garnered by racing in Formula E to come up with this: an electric-powered supercar with more than 800bhp.
The E-Tense Performance prototype is being called “a high-performance laboratory” that bosses at the automaker hope will help “accelerate the development” of future battery technology.
Under the sweptback bodywork is a new twin-motor powertrain that has been created by the DS Performance team. The front axle is powered by a 335bhp motor and the rear wheels get a dedicated motor rated at 469bhp.
As well as being a staggeringly impressive number, the E-Tense Performance is three times as powerful as the Formula E racer – the DS E-Tense FE20. As for torque, DS Automobiles claims this amounts to almost 6,000lb ft at the wheel.
Built around a carbon monocoque, the E-Tense Performance can regenerate energy at up to 600kW under braking due to the “immersive cooling system” that is at the heart of the Total Energies-developed battery. The pack is housed in a carbon-aluminium composite ‘envelope’ at the rear.
Visually, the space normally reserved for the grille is closed off and incorporates a digitised, 3D-effect DS badge. Flanked by data-collecting cameras, extreme-looking DRLs that are of “unprecedented thinness” comprise 800 LEDs.
21-inch aerodynamic wheels, black contrast surface detailing and a body colour that changes in the light depending on the angle it is viewed from are some of the other key exterior highlights.
Inside, DS says the cockpit has been penned to gather data, while bucket seats and a Formula E steering wheel “create an ambiance devoted to high performance”. A one-off sound system created by FOCAL called ‘Utopia’ combines with one-off speakers to give “a unique signature sound”.
The French company – which is now part of the Stellantis Group – says the design study will allow it to explore and test “different innovations to build into the brand’s next designs” – a message echoed by DS’s Performance Director.
“Our objective is to apply the experience acquired in Formula E and the expertise that we’ve taken from our international titles to a project which predicts the high-performance electric car of tomorrow,” said Thomas Chevaucher.
“It is a laboratory that we will use to analyse the behaviour of components and to develop them with a view to future manufacturing.
“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,” he added.