New Citroen DS

Classic Citroen model is reborn as the company announces grand overhaul

Citroen is rebranding itself for 2009. It's the company's 90th birthday, and while its current mix of stylish and good value models (and big discounts) seems to be a successful one, a new direction has been announced.

As well as seemingly committing to World Rallying for the foreseeable future, via the renaming of Citroen Sport (now Citroen Racing), there's the rebirth of a familiar model line - the DS. While it's a rather different prospect to the classic DS saloon, a car widely regarded as one of the best looking ever made, the genes are still broadly similar.

DS will be a name attached to several models, which will sit alongside cars on which they are based. For example, the car previewed by the concept pictured will be the DS3 - essentially a more stylish, premium market version of the all-new C3 supermini. It will share C3 parts underneath but its flasher exterior and likely higher equipment levels will command extra cost, probably around 15 per cent extra. It should prove an intriguing rival to the Mini Cooper and Alfa Romeo Mito.

In the same vein there will be a DS4 and DS5, predictably based on the C4 and C5. With the new DS line being introduced from 2010, expect the DS4 to take its basis from the mk2 C4, while the DS5 will likely coincide with a facelifted C5.

Little else is known yet, but expect a plethora of extra details when the DS Inside concept gets its debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

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