Citroën has been a competitor in the World Rally Championship for many years and has celebrated numerous victories including five manufacturer’s titles and six driver’s titles. Now Citroën Racing, the company behind all those winning rally cars, has built a car for the street, the Citroën DS3 Racing.
As the Citroën DS3 Racing is being built by the same people that build the Citroën WRC cars, most of the DS3 has been modified for higher performance. Citroën Racing starts with the engine where the engineers “modified and optimized” the powertrain components. What parts have been modified and optimized, however, have not been disclosed. Citroën Racing also remapped the ECU, tuned the turbocharger, and installed a new exhaust. These modifications boost power output of the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder from 156 hp to 200 and from 177 lb-ft of torque to 203 lb-ft of torque.
Of course the engineers at Citroën Racing didn’t stop at the engine. The stock steering has been replaced with a more precise steering rack modified for the DS3 Racing’s new tires. Stiffer springs, which lower the car half an inch, were added along with revised front and rear dampers built to handle the extra power. The car’s front and rear tracks have also been widened by just over an inch. All of these changes were made in the name of grip.
Equally impressive as the car’s ability to get up and go is the DS3 Racing’s enhanced stopping power. Four-piston racing calipers with special disc brakes replace the stock front brake setup while the rears are now drilled. Citroën Racing also revised the ESP to better complement the car’s sportier handling and has several levels of interference depending on how the driver sets it.
The exterior of the DS3 Racing is done in a special livery featuring “DS3,” “Citroën Racing,” and checkered flag graphics on the roof, the rear wheel arches, under the side mirrors, and next to the fuel filler cap. All of the graphics are done in orange to complement the wheels and contrast the car’s dark gray paint job. Chrome door handles and a chrome-finished exhaust tip round out the exterior changes.
Inside the car, carbon fiber trim adorns the dashboard, center console, center of the steering wheel, armrests, and door panels. Citroën also continued the car’s contrasting orange graphics inside finishing the shifter, shifter surround, and part of the dash in the same hue. The new racing seats inside the car also have “Citroën Racing” embossed on them with orange accents.
Citroën will unveil the DS3 Racing at the Geneva motor show in early March with production of 1000 of these limited edition cars set to go on sale in the second half of 2010. Each car will come with a special numbered plaque denoting it’s one of the 1000 DS3 Racings built.