Citroen introduces DS3 rally car

The French marque’s racing success in recent years – it has won five FIA World Championship Constructors’ titles – has led it to introduce the rally version of the supermini for track enthusiasts.

Built using a mixture of refined parts from the production model and specialist racing components, the DS3 R3 represents Citroen Racing’s decision to bridge the gap between rally car and production model.

To improve performance in the DS3 R3, Citroen Racing has improved the 1.6-litre engine from the production models with new racing parts and new exhaust and turbo systems taken from the C4 World Rally Championship model.

The resulting high pressure turbo engine delivers 210bhp and 350Nm of torque to improve traction.

Citroen has added a multi-point roll cage made of 45 metres of steel tubing to protect drivers and passengers, and a steel skidplate underneath the engine improves the car’s centre of gravity.

The stripped-back DS3 R3 has been designed over 10,000km of test drives and has been rigorously tested on gravel, tarmac and other types of road featured in rallying events.

New shock absorbers and a ‘pedal box’ braking system has been added to the DS3 R3 to make it rally-ready and the semi-automatic control has been taken from the production model and adapted to suit the six-speed gearbox.

Citroen has not revealed a price for the DS3 R3, instead simply describing it as ‘affordably-priced’.

The DS3 R3 will make its rallying debut at the end of 2010 and Citroen predicts it will become ‘the new leader in its category’.