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They continue to spark discussions and controversy, too, from enthusiasts and the industry, including the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA) which says it does not class such cars as classics.
And in taking on the style icon that is the Citroën DS, Oxfordshire-based electrification specialist Electrogenic’s new release will likely reignite the debate. So let’s find out more about it.
To create what it says is the first professionally converted, battery-electric Citroën DS, Electrogenic removed the 1971 car’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and replaced it with a ‘Hyper9’ brushless electric motor.
This motor’s 120bhp and 173lb ft of instantly available torque is delivered to the front wheels using the car’s existing manual gearbox.
The reimagined Citroën’s 48.5kWh battery gives a range of around 140 miles, and the car’s 29kW charger will charge the batteries in around two hours – a range-extending battery will be offered as an option. This car has been converted to an owner’s specification and future classics will be, too.
The model’s famous hydro-pneumatic suspension system remains, but a new silent electric pump has replaced the original mechanical pump.
Electrogenic says that other than the lack of tailpipes and the extra boot-mounted ‘DS EV electronique’ badge, it looks just like the DS did when new.
“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,” said Steve Drummond, Director and Co-Founder of Electrogenic.
“In this respect, the Citroën 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.”
“Our conversion breathes new life into the DS and means that future generations can continue to enjoy its charm for decades to come,” added fellow co-founder and director Ian Newstead.
“As with all first-time conversions, the DS presented us with unique challenges. 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.”