DS is currently working on a mid-cycle restyling of the DS 3 Crossback, its entry model. The update of the French B-SUV will also affect its electric version E-TENSE, which will receive a more powerful engine and a more capable battery pack, which will allow it to reach around 400 km WLTP of autonomy.
In parallel, DS is studying the launch of a smaller model, a premium utility that would come to take the place of the missing first-generation DS 3, which was sold from 2009 to 2019. This has been confirmed by Béatrice Foucher, executive director of the French firm, during an interview with Autocar.
“We’re working on a facelift for the DS 3, and when we say ‘facelift’, it doesn’t mean we’re going to face a facelift to the car strictly as it is today. The purpose of renewing is to say: ‘Okay, we [already] have clients, and we [also] are looking for new clients […], what would be the best product to achieve it?’ [We need] to capitalize on what we’ve done. This is what we are thinking at the moment.”
Foucher admits that the first DS 3 was “very successful”, although he is also aware that developing a small car carries some cost risks. Currently, premium manufacturers are focusing on the largest and most profitable models; in fact, Audi confirmed at the time that the A1 will not have a new generation.
The hypothetical “baby DS” would be based on the STLA Small platform
“At the end of the day, looking at the premium market, it’s harder to sell small cars than big ones, obviously because when you pay a lot for the big ones, you have the volume for the price, so the cost is right. But when you have small models, it becomes more difficult. It means it’s always difficult to have a small car and be a premium brand.”
If it receives the green light, the new DS utility would be based on the STLA Small modular platform of the Stellantis group. Most likely, it shared development with the hypothetical second generation of the Alfa Romeo MiTo, another premium model in a small format whose return has been rumored for some time.
Like the rest of the new models that DS launches in 2024, your baby will be 100% electric. Its main rival will be the fourth-generation MINI Hatch, which will also be sold exclusively with electric powertrains, although the DS is likely to be closer in size to the MINI Aceman.