Two worlds now, but still the same goals!

DS E-Tense Performance und SM Prototyp

MOBILITY: Two worlds now, but still the same goals!

Test laboratories of their time: DS E-Tense Performance (2022) and SM Prototype (1973)
49 years separate the historic SM Prototype and the futuristic DS E-Tense Performance. What they have in common is the will to pioneer ways to make future vehicles stronger, faster and more efficient. Laurent Nivalle, DS Creative Director and photographer, staged the two prototypes in an impressive photo series.

The 1973 SM prototype was a kind of driving test laboratory of its time. It was designed to test the effects of increased acceleration and speed on traction and directional stability. Through this prototype, valuable insights could be gained at the time in terms of weight distribution, suspension stiffness or turning speed by measuring devices recording dedicated data while driving. The 250 hp model with Maserati engine was used for the development of racing cars based on the SM.

The DS E-Tense Performance prototype is a high-performance test vehicle designed by DS‘ racing division DS Performance in 2022 to accelerate the development of future electric DS models. DS‘ own racing department built the one-off after the E-Tense technology won multiple Formula E titles. The all-electric prototype is based on a carbon shell, two electric motors with a total of 600 kW (815 hp) and all-wheel drive. It also sets standards in terms of recuperation. The chassis, the drive unit and the battery represent innovative solutions from which future all-electric E-Tense series models will benefit.

„What we did 50 years ago with what was then a very unique car is still fascinating today. Among other things, it was about providing an answer to the question of what maximum power the front axle could handle. We also called the SM Prototype ‚La Voiture Michelin‘ because this car spent so much time at Michelin working on the tyres and the axle kinematics. The SM prototype was a kind of technology lab that allowed us to gain a lot of knowledge, for example about the kinematics of the suspension, how the tyres behaved at enormous speed and much more.“

Francois Monath, co-developer SM Prototype & former technical director at PSA Motorsport
„We did the same with the DS E-Tense Performance: it’s a technical laboratory where we gathered all our knowledge from Formula E for the 100% electric powertrain. We put all that know-how into the prototype, which gives us extremely useful information for the next generation of our DS electric cars.“

Eugenio Franzetti, Director DS Performance
DS Automobiles has placed electrification at the heart of its own strategy since the brand was founded. The Paris-based premium brand has already been offering a 100% electrified product range since 2019. DS Automobiles was also the first premium manufacturer in Formula E and has since used the insights gained from the 100% electric racing series to drive research and development in the field of more sustainable mobility. In 2022, DS Automobiles was one of the brands with the highest share of electrified registrations in Germany, at 64% (source: KBA). From 2024 onwards, every new DS model will be launched purely electrically. In 2025, the brand will no longer offer pure combustion engines.
The photo series of the two prototypes, staged by DS Creative Director and photographer Laurent Nivalle, was taken in the run-up to this year’s Rétromobile.

BRAND: DS Automobiles

virtualdesignmagazine Michael Hiller


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