The Citroën DS X E-Tense concept electric sports car imagines a far-off future where drivers race outside in the open air.
If you’ve been paying attention to the great carmakers throughout the past few years, then you may have noticed that many of the concept cars that are unveiled at large automotive conventions lack a certain flair. They’re built for a purpose, to imagine a car a few years down the road and serve as the blueprint for which a production model can be developed and eventually manufactured.
In other words, they’re all a little dull.
Citroën isn’t an automotive brand we hear much of in the West, but when we do it’s for a very good reason. In this case, Citroën’s DS performance sub-brand has unveiled a concept car that harkens back to an age when an automaker imagined something truly spectacular and impractical just because they could.
It’s called the DS X E-Tense, a fully electric sports car that is also capable of full autonomy. This isn’t a car that will exist in five to 10 years, but might exist in 20 to 25 years down the line, according to Car and Driver.
The first thing you notice about the X E-Tense is just how ludicrous the whole thing is. The tires look less like rubber and more like some alien material that has yet to be discovered. The entire car seems stilted to the side rather than maintain perfect symmetry, something that no automotive engineer would ever dare to imagine, let alone waste time creating a concept for.
That asymmetrical design gets even weirder with some of the specifics. The driver sits in the left as normal, but rather than having the comfort of an air-tight cabin they’re out in the open air with nothing but a tiny windshield and a helmet to protect them. The passengers sit in the bubble pod on the right where climate control system will suffuse the air with relaxing scents to keep them from freaking out while the driver tries to control 1,341 hp.
That’s right: the DS X E-Tense has twin electric motors capable of producing 1,341 hp. They normally produce a more sedate 536 hp, but at the flick of a switch, the driver can turn the car into a track beast capable of leaving alien racers in the dust.
Or would flick a switch if the car had any. There are no touchscreens, and instead, there’s just a holographic assistant that performs passenger’s requests using voice commands.
The whole car is insane, but it also imagines a world where the insane is possible. For that reason, we should all love it.