This is the Citroen DS3 Cabrio Racing, and it’s a tad contradictory. The DS3 Racing is a stiffer, hardened edition of Citroen’s DS3 supermini, but this Cabrio model has been treated to a cosmetic roof that reduces stiffness and rigidity – yet that has not stopped Citroen delivering a fun, powerful sizzling hatch. It truly is a single of ten coming to the British isles of a batch of one hundred worldwide.
So what’s the Citroen DS3 Cabrio Racing all about?
You mighty don’t forget the DS3 Racing from 2011 . Well, this is the same spec bar the foldback roof, and it is just as able with the identical 6.5sec -62mph declare. That is regardless of a 65kg weight gain for the 204bhp one.6-litre turbo four-cylinder motor to carry.
DS3 Racing tweaks include 15mm decrease suspension to insert to that menacing seem, while those gloss-black 18in alloys and matt grey paint are part of the Dark Lord aesthetic. But the contrasting purple add-ons and chrome bootlid garnish – especially with the DS03 BOY number plates – indicates it really is not for the meek.
In spite of becoming on sale considering that 2010, the DS3 is nonetheless a layout delight, and the Racing only presents you more to take a look at as your eyes wander close to the cabin. Every single millimeter of this automobile has been tucked, twisted or taken care of to some flair, regardless of whether it really is the carbon on the steering wheel or the silver and crimson constrained version plaque in advance of the gear lever. The seats, proudly donning ‘Citroen Racing’ lettering in the centre, are cozy and supportive, nevertheless you never have to be a jockey to fit into them. There is certainly hundreds of adjustment, as well, so you can get the seat and the leather-wrapped steering wheel – which is a excellent dimension and feels top quality – into a perfect position for excellent all-spherical visibility.
So how hot a hatch is it?
This is an superb performance hatch. You will find some sweet irony in that the boy-racer seems to be have other drivers considering this vehicle is all about talking – but it can stroll the wander. This is not a hatch in the vein of the outdated hard-edged Renaultsport Clio : you will not need to have to see a chiropractor after driving down a B-street, as the ride isn’t really back again-breaking but rather plush for a sizzling hatch. In reality, every thing – down to the space, the chair, and the engine be aware (which falls just quick of a burble, as it really is sleek and will not drone at all) – are all mother-in-regulation welcoming.
It have to be a cruiser instead than a suitable efficiency hatch, proper?
That’s underestimating this excellent vehicle. Refreshingly, there are no confusing driving modes to pick from – it truly is just old-faculty level-and-shoot – but there is a distinctive switchable ESP location. There’s visible nose raise and dive when leaning on the 4-piston front brakes, but that will not mean it lacks composure: it really is all effectively managed. The elevate, the body roll and the grip are all predictable, so you by no means come to feel you happen to be teetering on the edge of oblivion. Even when you thrust that challenging, the understeer and restoration are so managed that you come to feel you’re functioning with it, as opposed to preventing the chassis.
The gearchange is smooth and exact, and the steering weighs up very well, even if you have to feed hundreds of lock and it truly is not laser-specific. That’s all fine, simply because you can dance on the well-put aluminium pedals, gently press that progressive throttle and slice and dice targeted traffic, carve up corners, and – as long as you keep that motor earlier mentioned 2500rpm – it’ll reply speedily to changes of path, requests for much more ahead punch, and pull up competently.
So it truly is great, not amazing?
The most wonderful thing about the DS3 Cabrio Racing is the cost: a whopping £29,305. Unfortunately, it isn’t going to appear with a cheeky £10k in the glove box, indicating it’s up from rivals a course previously mentioned like the Seat Leon Cupra , Golf R , Subaru WRX STI and it truly is only a couple of thousand brief of the stellar BMW M135i . That’s a big request, and all of these cars are harder-edged, more rapidly and far more capable than the DS3 – as is the predictable VW Golfing GTI which is even bigger, more rapidly, more affordable, and a better day-to-day proposition.
The DS3 Racing’s masterstroke is its blend of agility and stability: it’s not about outright, straightline overall performance – which, with -62mph in six.5sec, it is not negative at – but livable performance. It really is bloody quick, but with all its components in tune with every single other – the steering, the handling, throttle and brakes – making it immensely fulfilling to drive.
It truly is fun, lively and has the gain of these design and style information the DS range utilizes to set alone aside from the lower-spec C-line Citroens. Is it well worth the £9k more than the DS3 Activity? No, but it’s an uncommon combo if you are following the garish looks and that open-leading. 1 for committed.