Few topics divide the EV community faster and with more ferocity than the subject of electrifying classic cars. With the launch of its professionally converted 1971 Citroen DS, specialist Electrogenic will no doubt receive praise and scorn in equal measure. Either way, the response will be passionate. Whether you love the early attempt at aerodynamic excellence with Citroen's exterior styling, the advanced technologies like the headlamp system or you just thought Patrick Jane made it look cool in The Mentalist – the DS is certainly a classic. WhichEV has curated a gallery of angles for you to decide for yourself if the Electrogenic recreation is a thing of beauty.
Originally launched in 1955, by the early 70s the DS had already evolved into one of the most futuristic vehicles on the road. The 1971 DS is iconic and famous for its luxurious suspension system. Electrogenic has retained and improved the car’s famous ‘magic carpet’ ride, combining it with a silent, zero-emission electric powertrain – which they believe to be the first of its kind.
The original 2 litre petrol engine has been replaced with a ‘Hyper9’ brushless electric motor, which delivers 120bhp to the front wheels – giving the driver 235Nm of instant torque – a substantial increase over the original fossil fuel option from the 70s. The existing manual gearbox has been left in place.
You get around 140 miles of real world range from the integrated 48.5kWh battery – which would probably equate to 170 miles WLTP if it were ever tested. The on-board 29kW charger will fill you up in around two hours. Electrogenic points out that new owners can choose from a combination of batteries and charger types to suit their needs. One of these options will give you over 200 miles.
One of the DS’s defining features is its hydro-pneumatic suspension system, which enables it to self-level, and is responsible for the car’s famously plush ride quality. Rather than using the original noisy mechanical pump, Electrogenic has created a silent electric pump, which delivers a more sophisticated ride than the original.
Electrogenic says that it will always maintain the beauty of the original car when converting classics to electric power, so the DS’s distinctive design remains unchanged. The absence of exhaust pipes and a subtle new ‘DS EV electronique' decal on the boot, are the only visual clues to the car’s new electric powertrain.
Steve Drummond, Director and Co-Founder of Electrogenic said: “Repowering classic cars with all-electric drive brings a number of benefits, from ease of use to reliability and performance gains. But with our conversions, the aim is always to enhance the original characteristics of the car. In this respect, the Citroen DS was ideally suited to an electric conversion – the silent powertrain adds to the serene driving experience and fits perfectly with the character of the car.”
Ian Newstead, Director and Co-Founder of Electrogenic told media: “It seems right to use modern technology to future-proof a car that was so far ahead of its time when it came out in the 1950s. Our conversion breathes new life into the DS and means that future generations can continue to enjoy its charm for decades to come.”
“As with all first-time conversions, the DS presented us with unique challenges”, he continued. “In this case adapting the hydro-pneumatic suspension to run without the combustion engine. The old pump was so noisy that it detracted from the silent drive of the car, but our new electric pump solved the issue completely. As with every conversion, the DS has added further to our knowledge of converting beautiful classics.”
Those of you with visions of driving a classic car with a lot more power and far less noise are invited to contact Electrogenic to discuss projects.