I’m big into design. It doesn’t matter what it is, I’m just fascinated by the process and how things progress from original idea through to a full functioning finished product. So, I was delighted to receive an invite last week from DS Automobiles to visit their design studio just outside Paris to see their latest model, the DS 3 Crossback being unveiled.
The DS Design studio shares a home in a sprawling complex along with the other PSA Group car brands Peugeot and Citroen. It’s here in this very tightly secured facility (I even had to show my passport to gain entry) that over 1000 people work daily to create the cars of tomorrow.
Once inside, the first thing that I noticed was the extra wide and extra-long corridor that I had to walk before reaching the hub of the design studio. I had initially thought that this was just to make them look a lot cooler, but I was quickly enlightened that they exist to allow full sized cars to be moved from different parts of the building.
It was cool to see that even though much of the design work is now done on computer, but it was great to see that the paper sketches as well as clay models are still an important part of the design process. The clay models in particular give a great tangible look at how the curves and lines on a finished car will appear before it is actually out into production.
The DS 3 Crossback is the baby sibling to the successful DS 7 Crossback that launched last year and like its predecessor this new model is all about design. The DS 3 Crossback may be a premium compact SUV but from both the inside and the outside and feels and looks generous in terms of proportions. Although I’ve not had a chance to actually drive it yet, I did have a nosey around the interior as it say stationary in the studio and it was both comfortable and spacious.
DS have a real passion for pushing the boundaries of design while always paying homage to the brands heritage and to the world-famous French artisan processes. There is really no part of this car that hasn’t been considered. From the now iconic headlights to the new flush door handles and spectacularly beautiful interior, this is one good-looking car and the model that glistened before my eyes under the bright lights in the studio showroom sure knew it.
Although the interior is beautiful and undoubtedly luxurious, there is possibly a tad too much going on for me. It’s a lot tom take in with every nook and cranny being styled out. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a lot to take in at first glance. Holding pride of place in the centre of the dash is the high quality 10.3 inch touchscreen which in my opinion trumps the current infotainment offerings of Mercedes or Land Rover in terms of usability and style. It just looks cleaner and more cutting edge.
If you’re keen for a closer look at the DS 3 Crossback, orders will open in France after the Paris motor show and here in the UK early next year. A fully electric model named the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense is in the pipeline too, although it will be later in 2019 until we see it on the road.