In the not-so-distant future, will we still be driving our cars, or will they be driving us? That’s the question facing the automotive industry at present. And the answer presented by DS is: yes.
The avant-garde French automaker is preparing to take the veil of the new DS X E-Tense concept. Its vision for the year 2035 doesn’t just present the possibility of driving or being driven. It splits the choice down the middle. As in, literally, split down the middle of the vehicle.
On one side is an open cockpit in the style of the most extreme open-cockpit racing speedsters. On the other, a two-seat cocoon in which the driver becomes passenger, with the vehicle’s autonomous systems taking over.
1,360 Horsepower, Front-Wheel Drive
The concept is powered – theoretically at least – by a pair of electric motors. Located in the front wheels (for some reason), they combine to produce 540 horsepower (400 kW) in road trim. Take it to the track, though, and it can unleash 1,360 hp (1,000 kW). A carbon-fiber chassis keeps it light, and a suspension developed by the company’s Formula E racing team keeps the handling taut.
Pie-in-the-sky as can be, it’s an intriguing idea. But we have our questions about visibility for the driver in the open cockpit, whose entire right side is blinded by the enclosed cabin alongside – even if it is made of glass. That’s alright, though, because the DS X E-Tense concept stands about as much chance of actually hitting the road as the Titanic spontaneously raising itself from the deep and continuing on its ill-fated journey.
So far, the PSA Group has only released this one photo and a somewhat heavy-handed video to go with it. But we’re sure there’ll be more to follow soon enough, so watch this space.