Citroen has celebrated numerous victories in the World Rally Championship including five manufacturer’s titles and six driver’s titles. Now Citroen Racing, the company behind all those winning rally cars, has built a car for the street, the Citroen DS3 Racing.
As the Citroen DS3 Racing is being built by the same people that build Citroen WRC cars, most of the DS3 has been modified for higher performance. Citroen Racing starts with the engine, where the engineers “modified and optimized” the powertrain components, though what parts have been modified and optimized have not been disclosed. Citroen Racing also remapped the ECU, tuned the turbocharger and installed a new exhaust. These modifications boost power output of the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder from 156 horsepower to 200 horsepower and from 177 pound-feet of torque to 203 pound-feet.
Of course, the engineers at Citroen Racing didn’t stop at the engine. The stock steering has been replaced with a more precise steering rack modified for the DS3 Racing’s new tires. Stiffer springs, which lower the car half-an-inch, were added along with revised front and rear dampers built to handle the extra power. The car’s front and rear tracks have also been widened by just over an inch. All of these changes were made in the name of grip.
Equally impressive as the car’s ability to get up and go is the DS3 Racing’s enhanced stopping power. Four-piston racing calipers with special disc brakes replace the stock front brake setup while the rears are now drilled. Citroen Racing also revised the ESP to better complement the car’s sportier handling and has several levels of interference depending on how the driver sets it.
The exterior of the DS3 Racing is done in a special livery featuring “DS3,” “Citroen Racing,” and checkered flag graphics on the roof, the rear wheel arches, under the side mirrors, and next to the fuel filler cap. All of the graphics are done in orange to complement the wheels and contrast the car’s dark gray paint job. Chrome door handles and a chrome-finished exhaust tip round out the exterior changes.
Inside the car, carbon fiber trim adorns the dashboard, center console, center of the steering wheel, armrests, and door panels. Citroen also continued the car’s contrasting orange graphics by finishing the shifter, shifter surround, and part of the dash in the same hue. The new racing seats inside the car also have “Citroen Racing” embossed on them with orange accents.
Citroen will unveil the DS3 Racing at the Geneva motor show in early March with the production run of 1,000 set to go on sale in the second half of 2010. Each car will come with a special numbered plaque denoting it’s one of the 1,000 DS3 Racing cars built.