To the extent they know them at all, most Americans are most familiar with one of France’s most influential automotive designs, the Citroen DS sedan, from its brief star turn in Fred Zinneman’s 1973 suspense classic The Day of the Jackal, where one such limousine is sprayed with fire from FN automatic rifles as it ferries Charles de Gaulle toward destiny from the Elysee Palace in Paris. Built for 20 years beginning in 1955, the front-drive DS was a hugely innovative car designed in large part by the aeronautical engineer Andre Lefebvre, famed for its hydropneumatic suspension, the first car so equipped, with ride leveling and power brakes, actuated by a mushroom-looking foot button, part of the same hydraulic system. Looks-wise, the DS is timeless, which may help explain why it’s an unlikely choice for EV conversion.’
Yep, that’s an actual Citroen DS EV you’re looking at. This 1971 example, with the Robert Opron four-headlamp facelift, has been converted by Electrogenic of Oxford, England, to function on electric power, including its groundbreaking suspension system, which is now managed by an electric pump instead of the mechanical unit that Citroen provided. Also gone is the 2,175cc OHV four-cylinder ICE that powered DS models of this vintage, replaced by the Electrogenic Hyper9 brushless electric motor, which is said to deliver the equivalent of 120 horsepower, better than stock. A single 48.5kW battery gives the Citroen range of 140 miles on a charge, increasing to 200 miles when an optional battery extender is used. Electrogenic has performed this magic on other vintage vehicles ranging from a Volkswagen Beetle to a step-down Hudson Hornet.