Test drive: Citroen DS3 Racing

19 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Test drive: Citroen DS3 Racing

If you expected a soft, and romantic read I’m you’re going to be disappointed. The of this rollercoaster thriller is interested in one thing. Action.

is the fastest, most high-spec; expensive DS3 you can buy, at £23,100 on the And yes, it’s supposed to be really quick, but it also has to around-town-manners and everyday ease of

A tall story indeed, but the ‘Racing’ promises that are the important to fulfil. And we’ve got the rainy, muddy and gloomy Wednesday to turn the Racing’s explore every chapter of grip, comfort and ride; arriving breathlessly at a truly ending that doesn’t too much overly farfetched

First impressions:

I’d keen to meet the Racing since sampling its DS3 DSport – on which the R is based. The was nippy without being chunky and hunkered, and came up the driving enjoyment goods every bend and on every An engaging all-rounder indeed, but the on first in-the-flesh impressions, to have pulled the volume off at 11 and tossed it in the bushes.

Looks there’ll be no softly, softly

We’re driving the Obsidian with Sport Orange R-car today; the colour that Citroen says to be the most popular from customer orders. There’s a White under Carbon roof paint option which would be my personal choice.

I’m just white cars right now and the sprinkling of real carbonfibre on the Racing really stands out on the White paintjob. Polar also brings an unpainted front grille, where Black’s grille is colour orange. A tiny detail I but black carbon on white just looks so good and want show it off; it, clean it and polish it.

This car is at people like me and so far I’m accepting the Racing’s invitation.

according to Citroen, many of the Racing orders, which as it happens, subject to a six month list, are currently being including the optional £450 Spirit’ graphics. It seems we’re proud of our hot hatch-loving here in the UK, and we’re not ashamed to it.

The rear quarter panels, and dashboard all get the Spirit decals should you plump for them, and mix the with the other standout features and you’ve got one rolling for back lane-fun.

The basic DS3 is a pleasing one and to top this curvy off with plenty of carbonfibre detailing; inside and out, big wheels and over 200bhp seems to me to be a great idea. But I cars like this. And if read this far down, you do too.

Into the interior:

I try to put myself in the intended buyer’s for each of our TotallyMotor New Car Reviews, and the Racing I think it’s to say that those shoes be mine anyway. Well, rather than shoes, and specially selected for a thin that let me feel the pedals

So, thirty-something, auto-enthusiastic, performance-oriented and not to stand out from the crowd driving this burbling Yep, that’s me, and like a boy excited as I slip inside the R.

up, and as obvious as a clip round the is the Sport Orange colour-coded A wide orange expanse, with those goading graphics, is the first of many cues inside the Racing.

that lovely carbonfibre laid-in around the leather steering wheel and making me race-inspired right away. up into that side-to-side swathe of dash and there’s a driver-focused mixture of analogue and clocks that further you to the Racing’s sporting intentions.

the steering wheel pistol-grips, down in the embracing Citroen Sports Seats and prepare to do with your favourite The DS3 Racing certainly delivers in of look and feel of a quick car, but also thankfully is the space and air of the original DS3 cabin.

The car been developed by the team Citroen’s all-conquering World Cars; Citroen Racing, but didn’t get it all their own way. Pop heads inside a World Car and you may, or may not, think a good thing.

Apparently the engineers wanted to strip all that was hefty from the donor car’s interior to overcome every car’s nemesis; weight. And while the features lightweight carbon and five per cent lighter at each corner, it actually about the same as the DSport, to its interior extras. Citroen you to have fun in the Racing but not at the expense of creature comforts.

You won’t a rollcage, skimpy carpets or a where the back seats be.

But you will find everything the DSport, and more. Rear sensors, auto headlights, wipers, digital air-con, and an eight-speaker USB stereo are all pleasant and as are liberally sprinkled chrome Racing mats and leather extras. Can’t tell you that multi-speaker stereo I didn’t even think to it on!

Also present, and a little bit of a bug for me the DSport, are the aluminium drilled On this wet day with the Racing and the damp day with the DSport, my soles found the rubber-studded slippery when wet. foot on carpet rubbing and heating sorts the slip, but be looking to fix this issue my own Racing.

Perhaps by ‘roughing-up’ the of the pedal’s rubber studs?

I’m taking in all the good – apart from the as the pre-fired engine purrs me. It’s quite a powerful-sounding by no means kitty cat, and the engine temp gauge me we’re good to go, it’s to see if there’s some bite the sharp style and sports

An easy snick into the of six ratios in the closely-gated gearbox, a of the mid-weighted clutch and the Racing off at a gentle pace through the car I remember this gearbox the DSport and its quick to engage and the are right. The Racing is, however, lower on stiffer, tuned and springs, and 30mm wider the DSport.

Its also got over more ponies thanks to a turbo and remapped ECU.

I the stiffer suspension over the of a few speedbumps. Yes it’s stiff; the way it has to be if you that flat and fast but it also feels solid and in of the road-holding tasks. The quicker is quickly apparent as I decide to the next big bump turn the a touch and direction is immediately and changed with inputs instant response.

My smile widens.

It’s a damp squib of a day with of standing water and mini of mud-pats plaguing the black-top me; all under a constant lash of rain from the leaden Might as well floor it.

A lag in power as the small, 1600cc engine stutters at the initial of an unexpected full-power command, next to no revs. This is the nature of a relatively small-capacity powered-up by turbocharging. The engine has to an initial burst of fast-flowing gas to spin the turbo and pressurise the air forced into the engine, the extra fuel; to make the power.

All of this takes a second to happen, but once at speed and making turbo-boost you find any more lag. keep the Racing on the boil and be going extra hard in no Entirely instant acceleration comes with huge-capacity V8 and they won’t return near the Racing’s 44.1 mpg or its 149g/km CO2 rating.

Speed quickly; matching the ever-increasing of turbo-energy. Maximum boost the turbo is 2.2bar or about – quite a big dollop of induction indeed and that’s how you 204bhp from a 1.6-litre And while the ‘little’ motor is working hard under the it doesn’t feel like thrashing around out of its depth.

It torquey and tough.

The Racing hit 70mph in second gear, the 62-sprint in just 6.5sces, is proper, premiere league hot speed. The tick-over purr up into a rushing roar in with the throttle action, the gears find their accurately, and the world disappears Citroen quote a 1km standing dash at 26.5sces and a top speed of


You’d want to fully in command at 140mph and we didn’t get anywhere near on the public roads, the surefooted and DS Racing offers the sort of to drive confidence, mixed a little wide-eyed adrenaline, leads me to believe she’d be at big speeds; perhaps on the track. The courtesy of Italian retardation Brembo, is impressive and even in grim conditions, the car hauled up a firm authority.

The quick steering; if a little at higher speeds, points the to your intended line acute accuracy, while lowered suspension does its over almost all of the road conditions I threw at it. She’s and motorsport team-prepared, so I showed her thoroughly soaked and potholed lane rally stages.

For the part she lapped it all up. There was of the bash and crash that can from stiffer suspension; the you pay for controlled bodyroll, and ride, and comfort were right they should’ve been for kind of more focused

The only over-stiff suspension was during extreme compression and cenarios, when the shortened-travel and compliant shocks made the body-bounces somewhat hard and However, I only noticed through a couple of big dips in the at reasonably quick speeds, and only a surprise for the first of times, then it just to the thrill ride.

You might talk of torque-steer; the snatch at the wheel as the wide tyres big power to the road search out and grooves; snaking the front-end as you many mini corrections to direction. It’s always to happen with even powerful front-driving cars. You can the ESP right off, but leave it on and it you scrabble and wheelspin some in an performance.

Clever limited-slip (LSDs) can calm torque-steer but even they’re not perfect and probably add around a thousand-pounds to the Citroen chose not to bring a influence to this power-party, and apex-addicts might look to the for even more front-end or indeed to cars from the that come from the with an LSD. But it didn’t detract from my Racing in fact a bit of ‘squirrelly’ steering to the theatre for me.

Quick, grippy, safe and that’s how Citroen want you to about the Racing. And if you like the then you’ll find a car with oodles of its own character, can cruise in 6th gear without of a murmur, or go as hard and fast as else. Until, perhaps, super-Stig takes the Racing in search of every apex; any fine dynamic flaws probably wouldn#39;t even with us mere mortals.

And how of those quick-selling 200 UK-bound units will actually end up in the of a tame racing driver?

and gadgets:

ABS and Electronic Brakeforce (EDB) and Emergency Braking (EBA) back up those big beefy Brembo brakes, the hazard warning lights flashing under emergency While six airbags take the should the situation truly

Ten second sum up:

The DS3 Racing slots into the very-hot hatch-pack and on its promises in terms of outright quick handling and an exciting experience, but without loosing in the way of creature comforts. It’s a lot of it’s well spec’d and a little bit of a show off. If kinda sounds like you I’m sorry to say; got about six months to wait!

and availability:

The Citroen DS Racing is at £23,100. Only optional are DS3 Racing Spirit graphics at and MyWay Signature sat nav at £800. to order now, but with a of approximately six months for delivery.

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