DS Automobiles, the luxury arm of Citroën, has suggested that its E-TENSE PERFORMANCE prototype could “showcase a potential future on electric vehicles” by discarding conventional brakes altogether in favour of electric motor regenerative braking.
First unveiled in February, the E-TENSE concept was presented as a “high-performance laboratory” used to accelerate development of both DS Automobiles’ EV technology and its design language.
Built on a carbon monocoque, the E-TENSE features a compact high-density battery, developed jointly with TotalEnergies and housed in a “carbon-aluminium composite envelope” in a central-rear position for optimum weight distribution. To this is connected two electric motors – both lifted from DS’ all-electric Formula E single seater – that send 250 kW to the front wheels and 350 kW to the back axle for a combined total of 815 hp. DS also claims that a massive 5,900 lb-ft of immediate torque is sent to all four wheels, meaning the E-TENSE will sprint from 0-100 km/h in “just two seconds.”
Alongside its volcanic power and response time, another of the E-TENSE’ significant figures is the 600 kW of “unprecedented” regenerative capacity, which DS has claimed could, rather than complimenting the conventional friction-based braking system, replace discs and pads entirely with further development.
DS is now exploring the possibility of regenerative braking being used as the sole means to bring an EV to a complete standstill. A system that would simultaneously help keep an EV’s battery recharged for longer periods and thus extend the overall electric range.
DS does admit however that, for safety purposes, the rolling E-TENSE prototype is also equipped with a conventional brakes. No plans for a production example beyond development of the “intelligent technology” have been outlined either.
“Formula E is about maximising performance and efficiency, and the DS E TENSE PERFORMANCE is our vision of a road car utilising our race-winning technology,” DS Automobiles CEO Beatrice Foucher explains. “Regenerative braking is a very powerful way to not only slow the vehicle down, but also help improve battery performance. The DS E TENSE PERFORMANCE takes the technology to a new level, with regenerative braking used solely to slow the vehicle down.”
The E-TENSE PERFORMANCE prototype is the latest showcase of DS Automobiles’ electrification strategy, the French marque having confirmed that every model launched from 2024 onwards will be purely electric. Each will join DS’ already launched DS 3 and DS 7 ‘Crossback’ crossovers, compact DS 4, and DS 9 sedan.
Since its arrival in the series as ‘DS Techeetah’, DS Automobiles has also secured two of the last three Formula E Teams’ championships.