Futuristic elegance, pure lines and technological perfection… At its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 1955, the DS 19 set every heart pounding... An eternal passion was born.
An engineer by training, close to the Michelin family and CEO of Citroën. In 1938,he started the VGD project (voiture à grande diffusion or mass market vehicle) that would pave the way for the DS 17 years later, five years after his death.
A talented stylist, artist and sculptor, Bertoni was in charge of the design office at Citroën between 1932 and 1964. He styled and sculpted the aerodynamic, futuristic lines of the DS 19: a cult vehicle.
An aeronautical engineer and test pilot, André Lefèbvre displayed the full measure of his talent in the design of the DS 19. A lightweight, aerodynamic vehicle with a low centre of gravity, the DS 19 was a "bomb on wheels".
On Thursday 6 October 1955, visitors, journalists and competitors turned a stunned but rapturous gaze on the car that eclipsed all others. A vehicle whose futuristic lines and avant-garde technologies revolutionised the worlds of cars and design. A full 12,000 DS 19 vehicles were sold on the first day... By the time the show closed its doors ten days later, some 80,000 firm orders had been taken!
Heads would turn automatically. Everywhere the DS went, admirers would gather to try to uncover the secrets of the unequalled comfort delivered by the hydropneumatic suspension and the extraordinary power of the hydraulically assisted brakes.
Two new models, an estate version, four new colours and a few tweaks in design keep the passion alive.
Assembled outside France and exported to most of the countries in the western world, the DS was a global vehicle before the term was coined.
A model available exclusively in black, with a chauffeur's partition, grey upholstery with benches upholstered in leather and cloth, an intercom, car radio and optional telephone. Right from launch, DS 19 Prestige established itself as a car for political and business leaders.
First in the 1,300-2,000 cm3 category, first French car, and seventh in the overall rankings at the Monte-Carlo Rally in 1956, the DS 19 made its mark right from the start. A whole string of victories would follow. In 1959, DS came first in the overall rankings and also claimed the Manufacturers' Cup. In 1966, DS 21 won the main title. This was the peak of its career.
New cabriolet, new engines, new equipment, new aerodynamics, new performance: only a DS could outstrip DS.
With its 2,175 cm3 engine developing109 bhp, the DS 21 had a top speed of 175 kph in 1965. In1967, the DS gained a new front end featuring auxiliary swivelling headlights as standard, an innovative safety feature. With these headlights, the DS was able to light up the interior of bends before entering them.
In 1969, the DS gained a new dashboard with a wide visor and three round dials. It also announced a major innovation in powertrain design, with an electronic injection system. DS 21 had a top speed of over 185 kph.
Pure lines, a perfect finish, leather upholstery and, from 1964, auxiliary headlights and exclusive wheel covers: the DS Cabriolet was the work of coachbuilder Henri Chapron.
Chrome-finish mouldings and rear lights, exclusive wheel covers and auxiliary headlights: a car with a subtle gleam of luxury.
Deeper seats, raised backrests and exclusive leather upholstery: DS Pallas featured exceptional quality of finish.
The ceremonial vehicle ordered by the French president's
office was delivered in autumn 1968. In compliance with specifications, it was longer than the Lincoln owned by the president of the United States, with a total length of 6.53 metres.
In 1970 and 1971, upgrades to DS primarily concerned the transmission. First, it gained a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard then, the following year, a 3-speed automatic gearbox. In 1972, DS 21 was replaced by DS 23 ( 2,347 cm3, 141 bhp, top speed of almost 190 kph). This would be the DS's last innovation, or almost. Many consider the SM as an extension of the DS.
Presented at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, the SM was the French GT that the automotive world was waiting for. With its futuristic lines, V6 engine and DS quality, it epitomised the spirit of DS.
Presented at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, DIVINE DS expresses the brand's spirit and vision to perfection. Its elegance and attention to finish set it apart from all the rest. With its premium materials and futuristic technologies, this new object of desire for the 2Ist century is an avant- garde manifesto of technology and design.Succumb to its charms