Citroen to expand DS range this year

* Citroen DS3 convertible due * Unveiling set for Paris motor show * DS7 Mercedes S-Class rival...

Citroen to expand DS range this year

Citroen is to expand its DS range this year with two key new models, highly placed sources have revealed to What Car?.

The first, and of most interest to UK buyers, is an open-top DS3, which is likely to be revealed at the Paris motor show in September and go on sale in 2013.

Previous reports have indicated that this will be a traditional cabriolet, competing directly with the soft-top Mini. However, because of design constrictions, company insiders have indicated its more likely to have a full-length retractable fabric roof in the manner of the Fiat 500C, which would ease the packaging constraints of traditional cabriolets.

Further details are currently sparse, but it's anticipated that engine and trim options will be in line with the hatchback and that there will be a premium of around 2000.

Less significant for the UK, is the Mercedes S-Class-rivalling DS7 saloon, which is tipped to appear at the Beijing motor show in two months time.

It's likely to be heavily based on the Metropolis concept car from two years ago and be a luxury limo, designed primarily for the Chinese market. Even if it does eventually go on sale in Europe, its unlikely to be engineered for right-hand drive, so wont be sold in Britain.

Citroen design sources have also indicated that face-lifted versions of both the DS3 and DS4 are likely to become more luxurious and offer even more upmarket spec and equipment, in the manner of the just-launched DS5.

One DS5 feature that's likely to make it across the line-up is the so-called watch-strap leather seats, which are also standard kit in the special edition DS3 Ultra Prestige.

Chas Hallett