DS E-Tense Performance. The 815 hp French electric supercar
In a technical sheet, it’s not just the power that counts! There is a measure to which the manufacturers remain particularly attached: it is the 0 to 100 km/h. This standard value is especially of interest in the most sporty models since it allows them to be “separated”. When a vehicle reaches the reference time of 2.5 s – the time it took you to read this sentence – its performance equals that of the most desirable racing cars: Ferrari SF90 Stradale and another Bugatti Chiron. So imagine when the exercise only takes 2 seconds… This amazing time, only electrified models are capable of achieving it today. Cock-a-doodle Doo ! A Frenchwoman has just joined this very closed clan: it is the DS E-Tense Performance.
A Formula E… on the road!
Electric cars do not have a gearbox but they often benefit from all-wheel drive, and their torque is available as soon as you press the accelerator pedal. With the advent of such machines, manufacturers manage to develop real rockets on four wheels. The prototype presented by DS Performance, the sports division of DS Automobiles, however, is not intended to be mass-produced.
This is a high-performance laboratory to accelerate the development of electrical technologies for the brand’s future models. From 2024, all of the manufacturer’s new creations will be 100% electric. The concept was thought of as a road Formula E. The brand has been participating in this world championship since 2015, i.e. seven seasons. The engineers have thus taken over several technologies installed in the single-seater, such as the carbon shell and running gear. The electric motor is also borrowed from the competition model.
“ » Our goal is to apply the experience gained in Formula E and the expertise we draw from our international titles to a project that foreshadows the electric high performance of tomorrow. explains Thomas Chevaucher, director of DS Performance.“
Two electric motors, 100 km/h in 2 s
Unlike the single-seater, the concept has two electric motors for a combined power of 600 kW (250 kW at the front and 350 kW at the rear), or around 815 hp. This architecture is identical to that which the new generation Formula E (Gen3) will have in 2023. The torque at the wheels – rated at 8,000 Nm – is distributed between the two axles. Thus endowed, the prototype would hardly take more than 2 s to reach 100 km/h. Thanks to a battery regeneration capacity equal to the total power (600 kW), the prototype would not even need to use its brakes! It is the electrical system that will slow the car, while recharging the battery in an optimal way. » A battery capable of accelerating and regenerating at 600 kW, this did not exist until now and it was not easy to develop says Thomas Chevaucher, the Performance boss. Again, these spectacular characteristics are modeled on those of a Formula E Gen3. On the other hand, DS has not yet revealed figures on autonomy. With a capacity of only 25 kWh, half that of a Renault Zoe, it should not break any record.
A 100% French battery
The battery developed by Saft (a subsidiary of TotalÉnergies) is installed in the rear central position for optimum weight distribution. Its envelope, made by DS Performance engineers, is made up of a carbon shell and an aluminum chassis. It hides an innovative chemistry, as well as a liquid cooling system with a fluid designed to measure the performance of the 2 + 2 coupe. DS ensures that the accumulator can accept up to 350 kW of charge. It will not take more than 10 minutes to recharge it.
“ » It is a laboratory which will be used to analyze the behavior of the components and to develop them with a view to future industrialization. The idea is also to find solutions to lower costs, make them easier to manufacture and consider applications in series models. » explains Thomas Chevaucher, director of DS Performance.“
Indications on the future style of the DS
If the E-Tense Performance prototype shares its innards with a Formula E, aesthetically DS designers have imagined an envelope with fluid and refined lines. No big XXL rear spoiler. Only the huge diffuser betrays the ultra-sporty vocation of this study perched on 21-inch aluminum rims. The very slender front and rear lights give this 4.72 m long coupe a certain aggressiveness. The original daytime running lights – using the square root V (√) – are made up of 800 light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The holographic grille, behind which two large radiators hide, is reminiscent of that of the Aero Sport Lounge SUV concept and should be one of the key elements of the future style of the brand’s models.
Unlike the DS E-Tense concept, which served as the basis for this supercharged version and therefore no longer exists, the Performance prototype sports a dichroic “beetle effect” tint. Understand that depending on your angle of view you will not perceive the vehicle in the same color. Inside, DS mixes a chic and sporty atmosphere with Alcantara upholstery, black leather and carbon bucket seats. To remind occupants of the explosive temperament of the model in which they took their place, a Formula E steering wheel was installed. DS assures us that the controls will be functional with pre-recorded programs to increase or reduce the level of energy regeneration during braking, for example.
The DS E-Tense Performance on the track in real… and virtual!
Features that drivers Jean-Éric Vergne and António Félix da Costa will experiment with during the month of February. The two Formula E champions will have to « debug » the prototype to finalize its development. Circuit testing will be followed by testing on open roads. The argus can already assure you of its forthcoming presence in the seat of the racing car. To be continued…