DS Automobiles will launch only all-electric models from 2024 and will become the first Stellantis brand to sell only plug-in hybrid and pure electric models from 2025.

To prepare for an electrified future, DS Automobiles and DS Performance, its competition division, have developed a prototype aimed at testing various innovations to build into the brand's next designs.

The E-Tense Performance is a high-performance laboratory that houses Formula E-sourced tech within the body of a modified DS E-Tense concept. Its chassis, power unit and battery introduce innovative solutions that DS is testing to "fuel the development of future generations of 100% electric E-Tense production models."

Based on a carbon monocoque, the DS E-Tense Performance concept features a dual motor AWD powertrain with a total output of 600 kW (805 hp/815 PS)—250 kW at the front and 350 kW at the back. The motors are taken straight from DS Performance developments from Formula E and offer up to 8,000 Nm (5,900 lb-ft) of torque at the wheels. 

Gallery: DS E-Tense Performance driving laboratory

The powertrain features unprecedented regeneration capacity of 600 kW, which allows the DS E-Tense Performance to brake using only regen; the vehicle does feature a braking system with discs and pads for safety, though.

The compact battery is housed in a carbon-aluminum composite envelope designed by DS Performance in a central rear position for optimum weight distribution. 

DS says the battery was inspired by electric car racing and developed jointly with TotalEnergies and its subsidiary Saft. The result of research by this partner, the pack hides an innovative chemistry and an immersive cooling system for cells, thanks to a bespoke design of Quartz EV Fluid solution.

The battery enables phases of acceleration and regeneration of up to 600 kW and "the exploration of new avenues for future generations of production vehicle."

The DS E-Tense Performance also features a suspension geometry that's said to guarantee the best possible grip on roads, like on often-bumpy urban race tracks, and in any weather conditions.

DS E-Tense Performance Concept front view

The front end hints at the design of future DS Automobiles models

This prototype also explores with design, especially at the front which replaces the grille with a new surface for expression. Already suggested by DS Aero Sport Lounge, this treatment combines the brand logo with a 3D effect—such as a shop window—and a special welcome sequence.

The vehicle features new DRLs on either side (made up of a total of 800 LEDs) and two cameras instead of headlamps to collect data. Other styling highlights include the beetle-effect interference color contrasting with the gloss black surfaces and the 21-inch aero wheels.

Designed primarily to gather driving data, the cockpit features bucket seats, a Formula E steering wheel, and an in-car Focal Utopia sound system with a pair of exclusive Scala Utopia Evo speakers in prototype colors.

The DS E-Tense Performance will be put through its paces starting this very month. The first tests will see Formula E champions Jean-Éric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa take turns behind the wheel to finalize development. Later on, DS will begin testing on tracks and open roads to determine the vehicle's performance.

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