This is a conventionally-powered Citroen DS3.

One of the problems with electric cars is that (with the sole and honourable exception of the Tesla Roadster) they just aren't sexy. Nissan's Leaf is cute, the Chevy Volt is actually quite handsome, the Norwegian Think is practical and the G-Wiz is just plain ridiculous, but none of them can be described as sexy.

Until now, that is.

Citroen, masters of automotive sexiness (who else would call an entire series of cars “Goddess”?) have taken the sexiest French car since the Peugeot RCZ and electricuted it. It's called the DS3 Electrum concept and it will be displayed on the Citroen stand at the Paris motor show at the end of September.

The Electrum is a straightforward battery car, for which Citroen is claiming performance roughly on a par with the naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre DS3, a range of up to 120km (but not both at the same time!) and “optimum on-board comfort with zero noise”.

The Electrum concept, Citroen says, shows that a pure electric car can be a thrill to drive and that being environmentally considerate doesn't have to be boring.

Honest - we couldn't make this stuff up.

The Electrum's electric drivetrain has been designed to avoid stealing space from the cabin and boot of the conventionally-powered DS3. It has two 65kW electric motors on the front axle with a Panasonic 17.5kWh lithium-ion battery above them, and a high-voltage charging socket under the fuel flap for connecting to quick charging stations, providing an 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes.

The point, according to Citroen is that this layout makes it possible to 'electrify' existing models without completely redesigning them - and that's quite a sexy idea.