France’s DS Automobiles has built a real car out of the bizarre, asymmetric renders we saw last year, and it’s about to give the public its first chance to take a look. The DS X E-Tense is a vision of a proper driver’s car for the year 2035.
By far the most extreme concept DS has ever come up with, the E-Tense is a thousand-kilowatt (1,360 hp) front-wheel-drive electric beast with Formula E suspension, a carbon fiber chassis and some truly eye-popping design touches.
The first of these can’t be ignored. DS has chosen to give the driver the most extreme and elemental experience possible, by hanging them right out in the wind with an open cockpit, protected from the wind by nothing but a sharply angled windscreen.
That’s not to say you can’t take passengers, the driver’s side scissor door is mirrored by a double-length gullwing on the passenger side, which swings open to reveal two fully enclosed passenger seats in tandem formation. Weird, but then DS isn’t here to facilitate conversations between drivers and passengers, it’s here to deliver an intense ride, which it will, particularly if you need to merge right with the passenger pod blocking your view.
The front and tail lights are another stunning detail, “light veil” curtains that stretch like spider webs across the asymmetrical front and rear aspects of the car. The effect is breathtaking, if probably very fragile. Then again, DS says that “new technology” makes the E-Tense “capable of recovering its original form after an impact” – and if that’s true, this new technology is probably bigger news than the car itself. Sadly, there’s no further information.
It’s unclear how much of the typically grandiose concept waffle has been brought through to the machine that’s been built, presumably not the seats that mold themselves to their occupants, or the “immersive acoustic bubble” that treats each passenger to a focused sound beam that adapts and follows them around as they move.
But it doesn’t matter, this is a genuinely shocking and thought-provoking concept car well worthy of at least as much attention as Mercedes’ Vision EQ Silver Arrow concept from last year.
By New Atlas