All-electric, 402bhp E-Tense concept promises 0-62mph in 4.5sec and a 200-mile-plus range
DS has revealed a new carbonfibre-bodied electric supercar concept at the Geneva show. Called the E-Tense, it has in effect been made to production standards and everything on the concept is entirely viable, from the all-electric drivetrain to the way that pedestrian impact standards have been considered in its design.
Despite this, there are no official plans to put it into production. After the Geneva show, the concept will be put to work as a technology demonstrator, proving it can deliver on DS’s claims of a 4.5sec 0-62mph time, a 155mph top speed and a 220-mile range. The E-Tense is built around a central carbonfibre tub, with aluminium sub-frames at each end. Suspension is by double wishbones at all four corners and under the rear bodywork are two Siemens AC electric motors that produce a total output of 402bhp.
Rather than a one-motor-per-wheel set-up, however, both motors turn a common shaft, with the thinking being that two motors are lighter and easier to package than a single high-output motor. Drive goes into a three-speed gearbox and then an active differential that biases torque across the rear axle.
Power comes from a 53kWh battery pack mounted under the floor, itself fed by a rearmounted high-speed charger. The battery weighs less than 500kg and the total weight of the car is around 1800kg. The elegant lines were produced using a state of the art live CAD system,/which enabled virtual aerodynamic modelling. The slightly Lamborghini-like side profile is designed to help channel airflow at speed. A large carbonfibre diffuser is used at the rear to improve aerodynamic downforce.
There’s no rear window. Instead, a rear-view camera system relays an image from the back of the car to a ‘mirror’ display in the cockpit, a feature which is already destined for production in at least one future DS. The E-Tense also has windscreen wipers and door mirrors. The headlights have four jewel-like movable units that allow for different intensity and beam patterns. Eric Opode, DS’s product development boss, said they are patented and production ready.
The striking interior features a central display screen mounted on an elaborately shaped dashboard extrusion. Hand-painted leather panels and seats have taken nearly 800 hours of work in a prototype trim shop. There’s also an in-built, centre console-mounted BRM watch which an owner can remove when they leave the car. The tyres are Michelin Pilot Super Sports (305/30 R20 at the back) and have a chamfered finish, designed to make them feel like velvet.
DS has big plans and a commitment to build six new models by 2020. However, Opode has confirmed that the E-Tense is not part of the product plan. Nevertheless its viability, and DS’s need for a halo model, could create a compelling synergy.