Newest Citroen model on sale in SA is the DS3 Cabrio. It offers three engine options and loads of charisma.
Newest Citroen model on sale in SA is the DS3 Cabrio. It offers three engine options and loads of charisma.
All the roof pillars are still there, so it is more of a hatch with a giant sunroof.
All the roof pillars are still there, so it is more of a hatch with a giant sunroof.
Cabin can be personalised with two-tone leather seats and different-coloured dashboards, including this carbon-fibre version.
Cabin can be personalised with two-tone leather seats and different-coloured dashboards, including this carbon-fibre version.

Citroën’s DS line has its newest member in the form of the dashing DS3 Cabrio. Denis Droppa caught up with this French mam’selle at her South African launch in Cape Town earlier this week:

QUESTION: So mam’selle, tell us a little about yourself and how you fit into the DS family.

MAM’SELLE: Oui, certainement. I am ze sexy version of ze DS3 hatchback, and I do a little striptease. Press a button and voila: my top comes off – even when you are driving me at up to 120km/h.

Q: But you’re not really a true cabriolet. All your roof pillars are still there, so you’re more of a hatch with a giant sunroof.

M: Yes, zat is so. But my canvas roof folds all ze way back so it is a really magnifique open-air, wind-in-ze-hair experience, just like a cabriolet. Because of my roof pillars I don’t need extra body strengthening and I weigh just 25kg more than ze hatchback. My roof pillars give my body ze support so I don’t jiggle on bumps, and it makes me very nimble on ze twisty roads.

Q: Yup, I can vouch for zat ... I mean that ... after driving you through the mountain passes. But you’re not the most practical car; your boot’s rather small.

M: On ze contrary, my derriere is exactly the same size as ze hatchback, with 245 litres available for ze luggage. And I may look petite on ze outside, but I have space for four passengers and zey can all fit inside without any ... how you say ... unwanted intimacy.

Q: What’s under your bonnet?

M: You cheeky interviewer, you! I have a choice of three engines: a three-cylinder 1.2 with 60kW, a 1.6 with 88kW, and a 1.6 turbo with 115kW which va-va-vooms to a top speed of 214km/h and from 0-100 in just 7.3 seconds. Allez!

Q: And what about your bells and whistles?

M: Oh, I have plenty of zem. Cruise control, electric windows, central locking, a magnifique sound system, an air freshener with a scent of the finest French perfume, and a really sexy cabin with ze soft-touch dashboard. I am safe too with ABS brakes, stability control, and many airbags. I come in three trim lines: Design, Style and Sport, and I’m very customisable with different colour choices for things like ze roof, seats and dashboard to make me look more ooh-la-la.

Q: But the entry-level version doesn’t even have aircon.

M: Yes, zat is so I look good in ze price list, I must admit. But if you wish to stay cool you can simply open ze roof!

Q: Speaking of price lists?

M: I cost R219 900 for the 1.2 VTi 82 Design, R258 000 for the 1.6 VTi 120 Style and R291 900 for the 1.6 turbo THP 155 Sport. And zat comes with a three-year or 100 000km warranty with roadside assistance, and a four-year or 60 000km service plan.

Q: You’re confusing me with those numbers. What’s with the 82, 120 and 155?

M: Zey refer to ze va-va-voom of my engines, in horsepower.

Q: You’re not really a boy’s car, are you?

M: I have ze spirit of gay Paree, and am a car for anyone with joie de vivre. - Star Motoring

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