Past perfect, future sense: Iconic Citroen DS turns EV

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 01 Aug 2021


UK-based classic car electrification specialist Electrogenic has created an all-electric Citroen DS. The 1971 DS is a modern version of an all-time great French motoring icon, renowned for its beauty and luxurious drive. The Oxford-based company has retained and improved the car’s famous ‘magic-carpet’ ride, combining it with a silent, zero-emission electric powertrain.

Creating what is believed to be the first professionally converted electric Citroen DS, Electrogenic has removed the car’s original 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and replaced it with a ‘Hyper9’ brushless electric motor. This produces 120bhp, allied with 235Nm of instant torque – both of which are substantial increases over the original. Power is delivered to the front wheels through the car’s existing manual gearbox.

Housed within the DS’s sleek saloon body is a 48.5kWh battery, offering a real-world range of approximately 140 miles on every charge. The car is fitted with a 29kW charger, which will charge the batteries in around two hours. Both the battery size and charger type can be tailored to suit the type of driving an owner will use it for. An optional ‘range extender’ battery provides customers the choice to extend the range of the car to over 200 miles / 320 kilometres.

One of the DS’s defining features is its hydro-pneumatic suspension system, which enables it to self-level, and is responsible for the car’s famously plush ride quality. Rather than using the original noisy mechanical pump, Electrogenic has created a silent electric pump, which delivers a more sophisticated ride than the original.

The DS’s distinctive design remains unchanged. The absence of exhaust pipes and a subtle new ‘DS EV electronique’ decal on the boot are the only visual clues to the car’s new electric powertrain.

Steve Drummond, director and co-founder of Electrogenic, says: “Repowering classic cars with all-electric drive brings a number of benefits, from ease of use to reliability and performance gains. But with our conversions, the aim is always to enhance the original characteristics of the car. In this respect, the Citroen DS was ideally suited to an electric conversion – the silent powertrain adds to the serene driving experience and fits perfectly with the character of the car.”

Ian Newstead, director and co-founder of Electrogenic, adds: “It seems right to use modern technology to future-proof a car that was so far ahead of its time when it came out in the 1950s. Our conversion breathes new life into the DS and means that future generations can continue to enjoy its charm for decades to come.”

“As with all first-time conversions, the DS presented us with unique challenges. In this case adapting the hydro-pneumatic suspension to run without the combustion engine. The old pump was so noisy that it detracted from the silent drive of the car, but our new electric pump solved the issue completely. As with every conversion, the DS has added further to our knowledge of converting beautiful classics.”