Creating a compact luxury vehicle is certainly no novel exercise for the car industry, or for Peugeot-Citroën’s most refined and valued brand, committed to this project since 2010. The new crossover, the smallest in the line (although not replacing the original three-door DS3, which will stay in production for another two years or so), does, however, represent an interesting break from some other manufacturers’ equivalents and, of course, the French group’s own past.
Design Director Thierry Metroz proudly confirms, “Although this model is in the B segment, some of its features are certainly from the D segment, two categories higher. The flush-mounted door handles, for instance, that pop out automatically when you approach the car within a 1.5 meter radius: a unique feature that changes the design of a fundamental element for unlocking the vehicle”.
Equally unusual is the sophisticated shape of the front headlights: “Here we have been bolder than with the DS7 Crossback, the first in our new series. Category codes have become more flexible and customers are younger, with women now making up half, whereas before the majority were men. Hence the decision to enclose the matrix LED headlights in an irregular perimeter, which features a small ‘comma’ to create a striking front”, explains Mr. Metroz.
“This choice is completely in line with the sculptural style of the entire bodywork, which has no flat parts. The ribbed horizontal bonnet that curves back towards the door mirrors is another important expression, for example. In general, much has been done to maximise the interior space, which is simple but full and extremely harmonious: this is also thanks to the completely new chassis, which has enabled us to achieve excellent proportions”.
Inside the cabin, the design is possibly more mature and elaborate, but still quite fancy. “Women love the interior design of the electric E-Tense version too”, says the Style Director, with a smile.
“We were inspired by the world of luxury leather goods and even haute couture, for example in the quilt effect. Many details feature a diamond pattern that evokes the Louvre pyramid and immediately gives it a Parisian touch. Altogether, a compact, refined concentration of energy, an object of desire”. Like a jewel.
(Full article in A&D no. 234)