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Citroen's 1955 DS set for reprise with DS6


March 20, 2012

Teaser shot from Citroen's Facebook page

Teaser shot from Citroen's Facebook page

Image Gallery (49 images)

Teaser shots have appeared on Citroen's Facebook page for a new as-yet-unnamed vehicle. The French giant has successfully reprised its successful DS name into a whole series - so far we have the DS3, DS4 and DS5.

Back in 2010, Citroen created a special car just for the Shanghai World Fair - the Metropolis Concept appeared nowhere else. The Metropolis Concept looks a lot like the teaser pics (comparisons inside) and it's our bet that it will become the DS6 sometime later this year - probably at the Paris Motor Show in September.

Firstly, we have two images of the new DS - the first is the lead image for this story.

The second is this one of the new DS driving towards the camera.

Now, let's look at the shape which we saw in Shanghai during Expo 2010. The Metropolis was long, low and wide - 5.3 m (17.38 ft) long, 2 m (6.56 ft) wide and 1.4 m (4.9 ft) high - so although the fine detail of the styling is quite obviously different, the shape looks very similar in the front half, with an "estate" or "brake" cabin shape.

The Metropolis concept car was created by Citroën’s Shanghai-based international design team and was at the time proposed as a "sleek limousine concept."

Naturally, the Metropolis uses a version of the company's hydro-pneumatic suspension system.

Citroën’s Hydractive suspension system has since been licensed to several other auto manufacturers, most notably, Rolls Royce. The system was invented during WWII and first used on the rear of the Traction Avante in 1954 and on all four wheels in the DS, which created so much interest internationally when it was launched in 1955.

The DS went on to become an internationally-recognized icon - a symbol of France and its technological prowess - we've included some wonderful period shots in the image library of the DS in its heyday.

Above is an early sketch of the original DS.

The original DS was styled by Italian sculptor/designer Flaminio Bertoni and the French aeronautical engineer André Lefèbvre.

The DS' most famous moment occured during an assassination attempt on President Charles de Gaulle - despite two tires being shot out by the assailants, the unarmoured DS was able to drive clear of the danger. The incident was faithfully recreated for the film, "Day of the Jackal."

More than 1.5 million were sold during the car's twenty year production run, many finding their way throughout the world in the hands of intrepid French adventurers.

The DS came in third in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, behind the Model T Ford and Mini, and ahead of the Volkswagen Beetle and Porsche 911.

The DS was also voted "the most beautiful car of all time" by a jury of the world's leading car designers assembled by Classic & Sports Car magazine. The DS beat out a stellar stable with the Jaguar XK120 and Ferrari 275GTB equal second, and seven cars were equal fourth - the Cord 810/812, Ferrari 250GT Lusso, Ferrari 250GT SWB, Jaguar E-type, Lamborghini Miura, Lotus Elan and the 1957 Lotus Elite.

The Metropolis on display in Shanghai used a plug-in hybrid drivetrain incorporating a 2-liter V6 petrol engine and a 7-speed, dual-clutch electronic gearbox.

In Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mode, the Metropolis' electric motors can run all day delivering 55 bhp (40 kW), but can peak for short periods at 95 bhp (70 kW). At steady speeds on main roads and motorways, the petrol powerplant provides 272 bhp (200 kW) and 375 Nm of torque.

Combining both the electric motor and the combustion engine delivers a maximum power output of 460 bhp (345 kW) and 430 Nm of torque and there’s also a four-wheel drive mode for when extra grip is needed.

Although there are clearly many differences in the detail between the Metropolis and the coming DS model, the brand spent an inordinate amount of money to build the Shanghai concept with a clear intention of making an impression on the biggest ever World Expo's crowd of 73 million Chinese.

China is the world’s largest automotive market and Citroën’s second largest market outside Europe, with the brand having been established there for 20 years. Given all of the above, the Metropolis appears likely to form the basis of the DS6.

The original DS and the current C6 Citroen. Watch this space.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

I don't know what you have to smoke to imagine that the old DS was a good-looking car. I was astounded by how ugly they were when I first saw them in John Wayne's The Green Berets on video in the early '80s and I didn't change my mind when I recently saw The Day of the Jackal, where the presidential motorcade, the would-be assassins' car, and the taxis were all DSs.


You may remake a MINI, you can bring out new FIAT 500 - but... One can NEVER remake thay DS fame - whatever designer, whoever's engineer... Loved my 6 years in my DS-20... :)

Martin Pernicka

The DS is one of the most beautiful cars of all time, i agree. I have always admired it, ever since i was a small boy. The shape that is carved out of the wind, the wrap around glass, around that very windy, spacious and open cabin. The high ride height with those gracious lines. Just looking at it one could hear a symphony orchestra. Indeed it is a symphony on wheels.

This new DS6 looks good. But to be fair it just looks like it is following the current trend, with the Audi inspired grill. The new car looks great but to be worthy of a DS6 replacement it needs much more. It needs to be able to match the following characteristics:

The Airy spacious cabin The glass area Styling that does not follow but leads the rest. Poetry.

I suggest that anyone considering a styling replacement imagine cruising the country roads, beaches and vineyards, with some fine symphony orchestra playing on a super sound system, with the windows down.

Even then, the DS is an extremely tall order to meet.


To sum it up, the difference between the original DS and the new DS6 is like a fine symphony compared to techno music.


Citroen's recent big cars have not done too well. In fact most big French cars do badly, but anything that recaptures the genius and relaxed beauty of a DS has got to be worth waiting for.


My grandfather loved the original DS, which was about as rare in this country as his Austin American. That car was total comfort. I never drove one but sat in an immaculate model in a Washington state vineyard at a vintage French car show. I drove my late 404 Peugeot there, irritating people on I-90 with my slow speed. But French cars are not built for this country. No parts, no expertise in their repair except among those of us who were into them. I don't see the new Citroen changing that.

Mike Nemeth

It should be realized that the tapering back was boldly used, now called fuel extenders by some. They are also ugly unwanted extensions on some cars, and for hobbyists. But in this car used practically as a storage space as it should, way ahead of its time, and beautifully.

Dawar Saify

Besides the beauty, the shark look, was the incredible engineering: variable ride height, inboard ventilated discs, serious gas mileage, hemi-head engine, one bolt wheel detach, auto jacking system using the variable ride height, the incredible plush seats, GREAT HANDLING, taper roller leading link suspension, removable body panels, usually with one bolt per.

A tour de force. If they build the same one, I'd buy it.

Ormond Otvos

I agree w/ Ormond, the best thing Citroen could do is recreate the original. It would be nice to see them incorporate some new technology, but don't go overboard. The only radical change I'd consider is to turn the engine transverse. It would provide a bit more legroom in the front, but I don't know if it would hurt the center of gravity.


I definitely agree with Otvos and Kuryus, they should rebuild the original, with some improvements, but not going overboard. Just a more modern powerplant, safer head restraints, some added safety features (cleverly built in so that the car still looks the same). Some added electronics to improve on ride and handling. With excellent modern paints, chrome, etc. Wow, the same silky smoothness, enhaced dynamic & passive safety & fuel effciency of a modern car. I want that!!! Just as i would want my peugeot 204 brand new. Real leather, real wood veneer, real smells. Hmmm...what a dream.

Some cars don't need re-styling, they just need to be finely tuned with the best of today's technology.


People who have never ridden in or driven the original DS just have no idea! I owned several during the seventies and eighties and for that time a thirty year old design was still competitive on the road. These were not cars in the normal sense they were something that had arrived mysteriously from an alien encounter.Todays hybrid drive train technology would be a perfect upgrade to go with the original car displacing the agricultural 4 cyl.


The new DS, quite lovely and as close as Citroen will get to the original DS concept. I have owned 7 Cits over the years (yeah, I know ...weird dude!). I had 2 late 60s Safari wagons but my favourite was my 69 DS21 with the semi-automatic transmission. It was a delight to own and drive. No problem to maintain a relaxed 100 mph when traffic and highway conditions were right. The car did not attract the cops' attention for some reason!

Of course, manipulating the ride height at local show and shines or at a traffic light in front of waiting bus passengers was an added bonus!!

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