Citroen is aiming directly at MINI John Cooper Work's territory with its scorching hot new DS3 Racing sport model that will make its world premiere at next month's Geneva Motor Show.
Developed by Citroen's Racing division that handles the French firm's WRC cars, the special edition version of the DS3 hatch comes with a beefed up 1.6-liter turbo engine, modified chassis and a bevy of styling upgrades. It will go on sale in the second half of the year with production limited to 1,000 units.
Power comes from a tuned version of the standard model's Peugeot-Citroen PSA and BMW Group co-developed 1.6-liter turbocharged four. Citroen Racing's engineers modified and optimized the powertrain components, tuned the turbo, reconfigured the ECU and added a special tail pipe and muffler.
These upgrades boost the engine's output from 156HP and 240Nm to 200HP and 275Nm or 202.8 lb-ft of peak torque.
To improve the DS3 Racing's handling and driver feedback properties, Citroen Racing's engineers modified the steering system, fitted stiffer suspension springs, adapted the front and rear shock absorbers, widened the front and rear tracks by 30mm and lowered the car by 15mm.
Furthermore, the DS3 Racing gets beefier high-performance tires, a recalibrated ESP that can disengaged and an up-rated braking system with 4-piston callipers and special disc-brakes with drilled discs at the rear.
In the styling department, the DS3 Racing gets a new aero kit with front and rear spoilers, side skirts and a rear diffuser while the preview model comes in a gray finish with orange accents and rooftop complemented by special livery with 'DS3', 'Citroën Racing' and chequered flag graphics.
The French maker also used a carbon finish for the front bumper, lower body trim and wing extensions, whilst the 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome door handles and chrome-finished exhaust complete the exterior mods.
As for the interior, the Citroen's hot hatch stands out thanks to the body-hugging bucket seats up front, carbon trim on the dashboard, centre console, steering wheel embellisher, armrests and door side mouldings, plus orange accents on the dash, gear stick and gear stick surround.