Road Test

Road Test: 2011 Citroen DS3 Racing

June 27, 2011

Citroen DS3 Racing 2011_01We have been waiting for a long time for Citroen to build a sportier model, that would somehow make use Citroen’s success in the World Rally Championship. There have been some Citroen C4 special models named after Sebastian Loeb, but nothing that would have made our heart beat any faster. The DS3 was the first car for a long time from citroen that got us interested. DS3 offered design and personal styling that Citroen is known for. However, otherwise DS3 was basically C3. Now Citroen Racing have taken the DS3 and upgraded its performance to a whole new level. Unfortunately this new Citroen DS3 Racing is only available as a limited edition.

Under the hood the Citroen DS3 Racing has a 4-cylinder, turbocharged, 1.6-litre petrol engine. Citroen Racing has upgraded the turbocharger and re-mapped Engine Control Unit. The engine produces now 207 horsepower and 275 Newton metres of torque. The best torque is available between 2000-4500rpm and when you hit 6000rpm, you have all the 207 horsepower available. 207 hp doesn’t sound very much, but DS3 Racing is quite compact car and therefore the performance is up to its name. With the Citroen DS3 Racing, you can get from zero to hundred in 6.5 seconds and the top speed is 235 km/h. When driving steadily, you can keep the revs well under 2000rpm. When you want to accelerate, press the throttle a bit harder and give it more revs. Above 2000rpm the car starts to accelerate quite nicely, and more revs you give, more happier it gets. DS3 Racing has a sports exhaust system, that gives this car a bit sportier exhaust sounds than what you usually hear from a Citroen.

Citroen Racing has designed a sport suspension with stiffer springs and new shock absorbers to provide a better handling for the car. For that same reason, the front and rear tracks are widened by 30mm. The new springs have also lowered the car by 15mm. On the road DS3 Racing feels like it was made to drive through corners. However, DS3 Racing is still comfortably enough to go for a longer drive. Only thing that isn’t quite as good as we hoped for, is the steering. Steering reacts fast, but steering feel could be a bit sharper. It just doesn’t give you that direct feeling of the road, that would make driving even more enjoyable. Citroen Racing has updated the brakes as well to match the performance. At front DS3 Racing has 4-piston Brembo brake calibers with 323mm brake discs. The braking performance feels so good, that it could easily handle even more power.

From the outside, the Citroen DS3 Racing can be easily recognised even when standing still. There are two colours available; This Polar White body with Carbon Grey roof or Obsidian Black with Sport Orange roof. DS3 looks quite good in its basic form, but this Racing has some special ingredients to highlight its sportier pedigree. Polar White body comes with a Carbon Grey tailgate spoiler and Carbon Grey door mirrrors. There are also carbon fibre inserts in front splitter, wheel arches, waist line rubbing strips and in the rear diffuser. Chrome is used in front fog light surroundings, in door handles and in the double exhaust. Rear windows are dark tinted and wheels are 18″ Carbon Grey Nemesis alloy wheels. Citroen DS3 Racing is 3948mm long, 1737mm wide and the car’s height is 1451mm. So its a real compact hatchback.

The interior has also been updated to match the sportier image of the car. The Citroen Racing sport seats are covered with with Alcantara and Trami cloth. There is also a Citroën Racing embossing in the seats. The sport leather steering wheel gives you a good grip and under your the feet you have drilled aluminum pedals and Racing floor mats. Gear lever surround and the leather handbrake are finished with chrome inserts. Even the dials have a Citroen Racing signature and red surrounding. The grey dashboard facia looks good, but there is just one thing that disturbs this sporty look. It’s the basic looking radio/cd-player. The same player that has been seen in so many Citroen and Peugeot models and it just doesn’t really fit here. Otherwise the interior of the car looks as nice as the exterior.

This front-wheel drive, 200 horsepower hatchback may not be ready for the rally track, but on the road it easily earns its Racing nameplate. As this car is only manufactured in limited edition, there aren’t enough cars for everyone, but those few lucky ones will probably be quite happy with their choice. And the rest of us, we are just happy that Citroen can still build road cars, that aren’t that good looking, but are as nice to drive as well.



  • Petrol
  • 4-cylinder
  • 1598cc
  • Turbo


  • 152 kW (207 hp) / 6000rpm


  • 275 Nm / 2000-4500rpm


  • 6-speed manual
  • FWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 6.5 seconds

Top speed

  • 235  km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 6.4 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 149 g/km

Citroen DS3 Racing 2011_02