NEWS – Connected before coronavirus with the trade fair world, the concepts have not disappeared. The latest from the young luxury brand Stellantis is an electrical technology laboratory.
It seems to us that DS missed the boat when this brand, which designated a parallel line of premium models, cut the umbilical cord with Citroën in 2014 and decided to strike out on its own. To stand out in a particularly competitive universe at the time, it was a daring bet to choose electric power to become the French Tesla, but not meaningless. It is not obvious that DS would have sold many fewer vehicles than today. As a bonus, the new brand would have played the role of a technology lab for the entire group.
A single-seat chassis
With four driver and constructor titles won in the Formula E (FE) World Championship in single electric seats, its legitimacy in this market could not be questioned. Finally on the production front, the DS came in through the back door with a DS3 Crossback sharing its electric platform with the Peugeot 208. It is only from 2024 that the DS will only launch electric vehicles. The DS4 E-Tense will be the first model of this new generation of zero-emission vehicles. It is not excluded that this vehicle benefits from the expertise acquired in Formula E and from the test bench that makes up the E-Tense Performance, the brand’s latest concept.
Launched last year, the design of this coupe prototype, which we could follow, provides clues to the style of future DS models, but also to future technological developments. As much for cost reasons as for deadlines, the DS Performance and Style Office teams started from an existing base, the 2015 E-Tense concept, where only the monocoque carbon cell was held. The new bonnet front and rear prepare for the development of the DS style. This study is particularly valid for its technology, which owes much to the competitive world.
The engineers have grafted the running gear and electrical systems from the DS FE21 single seat, which is taking part in the current FE Championship, whose final is scheduled for Marrakech on July 2, onto the existing structure. Both electric motors come from FE. The front end of 340 hp is combined with the front end of 475 hp borrowed from the third generation of single seats, which will take effect in 2023. With a small amount of 815 hp, the DS E-Tense Performance thus becomes the car the most powerful of the Stellantis group . The people in charge of the project announce breathtaking performance for the pilot: only 2 seconds to reach 100 km / h. A force that would largely be the result of a controlled mass. Almost 1,250 kilos.
An experimental battery
The relative lightness of the DS concept is not only based on the carbon structure and the body, but also on the adoption of a battery that weighs almost 250 kilos. These accumulators, developed by Saft and placed at the rear in a central rear position in a carbon-aluminum composite housing, present solutions that could enable the world of electricity to make significant progress. The partners remain silent about the technology, but both the battery chemistry and the cooling system are innovative. Thermal control, one of the key factors in battery performance, depends on a specially designed cooling system. Cells and electronics are immersed in a temperature-regulating fluid.
By avoiding overheating, this system permanently guarantees the perfect performance of the battery. This has a capacity of almost 25 kWh. By comparison, the DS3 Crossback E-Tense provides 50 kWh. If the engineers failed to install a large battery, it is because the concept has a breathtaking regeneration power: up to 600 kW. About six times higher than what the best electric models on the market offer. Finally for recharging, thanks to the 800 V installation, the power reaches 350 kW. Five minutes is enough to fill up. Through the DS concept, we already perceive that the electricity world is becoming more tamed every day. He is still far from having revealed all his secrets