Citroen DS

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Citroen

Citroën DS

1955 - 1975
Country:
France
Engine:
4 cyl.
Capacity:
1911/1985/2175/2347 cc
Power:
63/84/109/115/141 bhp
Transmission:
4/5 spd. man & semi auto
Top Speed:

135-188 km/h

Number Built:
1,455,746
Collectability:
4 star
Seen as one of the most innovative cars of its era, the Citroen DS was introduced in Paris in 1955.

The major reason of this was its suspension with engineers introducing self-levelling with hydraulic hydropneumatic struts and unique adjustable ride-height facility allowing the DS to raise itself over rough terrain.

Once the engine was turned off it sank slowly until it sat squat to the ground. The same engine controlled ultra-sharp power steering with clutchless hydraulic gears. It was housed in a futuristic five-seating body with panels that were detachable and was seen as a decade or two ahead of its time.

Combined with front four wheel drive it handled sensationally making the ride seem like a magic carpet. Unfortunately, its antiquated engine was its downfall with the 1934 design from the Traction-avant making it unworthy on a machine so advanced.

A correction to our previous claim that the DS had 4 wheel disc brakes has been corrected by a visitor - "The DS never had during its production run 4 wheel disc brakes. The front brakes were inboard Disc's mounted on the output shafts from the Transmission and the rears were standard drum."

In the mid sixties a more advanced two-liter four cylinder was introduced, but the results were still short of the smoothness that this car deserved.

Models were downgraded with fewer power-assisted problems and less bhp which resulted in huge appeal to Parisienne taxi-drivers whilst the Safari Estate were viewed as ultimate family haulers and the beautiful DS decapotable convertible being exclusive and pricey.

Its shape changed little in 20 years even when replaced by the CX in 1975 when its competitors were just making some headway. Many enthusiasts class the DS to the level of automotive art - how many other cars have inspired their own art exhibition?

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Also see:


Citroen DS Review
by Johanna Patterson
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