By: IOL Motoring Staff

Paris, France - Citroen has never made any secret that it wants to make its DS series an upmarket brand in its own right and, with the Divine DS concept, it has taken a big step closer to that goal.

 Unveiled in Paris on Thursday 4 September, it'll be on show at the Chantilly Concours d'Elegance on Sunday 7 September and then at the Paris Motor Show from Thursday 2 October.

Under that shimmering, metallic-grey skin, there's a compact four-door four-seater - 4210mm long, 1980mm wide and only 1350mm high - with a 1.6-litre direct-injection turbopetrol four developing 199kW at 6000rpm, and 330Nm from 1900-5500rpm.

Futuristic headlight clusters combine sequential indicators with laser technology and facets in the roof open to reveal a rear-view camera, while inside, a 'cockpit' driving position features exclusively digital instrumentation, including a 265mm touch screen and holographic display.

 STYLISH TECHNOLOGY

The headlights have independent LED modules, designed to resemble diamonds in a setting. With Swarovski crystal fabric at the base of each unit, to bring the lights to life, they combine sequential indicators with laser technology.

Each headlight unit has two high-powered laser diodes, 50 percent more powerful than conventional LED lights - but they're not in the headlight clusters; the laser diodes are hidden deep inside the engine compartment, where they're protected from impact, and their light is conducted to the conducted to the headlight through optical fibre for instant, precise adjustment. Cameras are used to identify oncoming vehicles and automatically adjust the lighting so as not to dazzle other road users.

MADE TO MEASURE

Designed in partnership with Swarovski crystals and Lesage embroidery, the concept presages a new philosophy of personalisation called 'Hyper-typage' that will allow customers as much freedom in the interior design of their car as they would experience with haute couture clothing.

The centre console forms a 'backbone' for the car and sets out the driving functions, with a sculptured rectangular steering wheel, special toggle switches decorated with gemstones and, in the middle, a digital clock set in black granite with gold speckles.

The controls are grouped on a 265mm Touch Drive multifunction screen in the overhead console, freeing space on the dashboard and including a function that replaces the rear-view mirror.

HOLOGRAPHIC DISPLAY

Driver information is in digital form, with a head-up display above the steering wheel showing essential driving information - and a holographic display behind the steering wheel with a 3D readout that lets the driver view navigation information, for example, without taking their eyes off the road.

On the passenger side, a single continuous swathe of fabric covers the console and dashboard, forming a twist as it reaches the door inserts, enfolding the passenger and taking them way beyond conventional automotive standards.

The seats, developed from the existing DS watch strap design, are upholstered in specially-selected full-grain aniline leather from the prestigious Seton tannery.

SETTING THE MOOD

Based on a dashboard and door scrolls that can be changed in just 15 minutes, a choice of three interior ambiences is available. Three radically different 'dress codes' can be swapped to suit the occasion:

'Mâle' is a sober, contemporary creation, alternating carbon fibre - used as a textile - and glazed, burnished leather, trimmed with pearl stitching in red and black.

'Parisienne Chic' is an evocation of sophistication and elegance in full grain ivory-coloured leather, pleated silk and satin, with the DS logo embroidered with beads and crystals by Lesage.

'Fatale Punk' creates a darker note with deep black, padded leather studded with crystals, and clipped-in subtle touches like a piercing. The door panel scrolls are covered in Swarovski fabric, a material that shimmers with millions of tiny crystals.