Citroen prestige brand DS has unveiled its latest DS 3 hatch in Paris. It slots alongside the DS 5 as the second model in the recently-created range.

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Of most interest is the DS 3 Performance, which most closely aligns with the brand’s DS 3 World Rally Car, an updated version of which will be introduced in 2017 as WRC regulations change and Citroen returns as a factory entry.

Although not yet confirmed for Australia the DS 3 Performance could arrive in late-2016 alongside the less performance-focused models which are earmarked for our shores. It is available in Europe with both hatch and cabrio body styles.

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The ‘base’ DS 3s will receive a new 1.2-litre turbo-petrol three-pot mated to a six-speed auto. It will join the existing 121kW 1.6-litre, manual transmission drivetrain.

Tuned for the DS 3 Performance application, the 1.6-litre turbo hits 154kW/300Nm highs. Mated to a bespoke short-ratio six-speed MCM manual gearbox, enthusiasts can rejoice in the Torsen limited-slip differential which should allow full power deployment via the DS 3 Performance’s front wheels.

Ride height is reduced some 15mm, and the front track is a substantial 26mm wider at the front and 14mm in the rear. Impressive 323mm front brake discs are fitted with ‘special’ calipers, supported by 249mm in the back.

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Twin exhaust pipes, carbon side mouldings and matte black wing extenders are among the exterior highlights, while inside there’s alcantara and leather-trimmed bucket seats for driver and front passenger.

With on-paper credentials such as these, we hope DS importer Sime Darby is convinced the DS 3 Performance is the right halo for a new brand in this country.

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