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by Tim Beissmann

The Citroen DS3 Racing is back on the table for Australia.

Ruled out by the French brand’s previous importer due to Australian Design Rule (ADR) compliance complications, the 154kW pocket rocket is once again being considered by Citroen under its new Australian distributor Sime Darby.

Citroen Australia general manager John Startari told CarAdvice there was plenty of enthusiasm for the DS3 Racing within the local division, which is currently assessing the issues relating to its introduction and weighing up whether it can make a viable business case for the model.

“It comes up in every product discussion,” Startari revealed.

“It’s something that we think would be fantastic for our market, but it’s a matter of the investment required to achieve compliance and does it give you a financial return.

“Obviously it’s something we’d like and we think it’s suited to this market, but it is what it is, and if we can’t sort out the homologation issues then that kind of makes the decision.”

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After a thorough assessment, Citroen Australia’s old distributor, Ateco Automotive, decided that the substantial suspension redesign required to make the DS3 Racing conform with ADRs would be “prohibitively expensive”.

While acknowledging that there are also compliance hurdles to clear relating to the vehicle’s fuel system and fuel quality used in our market, Citroen Australia insists it is committed to boosting the local line-up with vehicles like the DS3 Racing that it believes embody the company’s tradition and vision.

After being overlooked initially, Startari this week confirmed the Citroen C4 Picasso would be introduced in the second quarter of 2014, giving the brand a modern contender in Australia’s largely neglected MPV segment.

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The Citroen DS3 Racing is powered by a turbocharged 154kW/275Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, which is an uprated version of the engine fitted to the Peugeot RCZ and new 208 GTi. The sporty front-wheel-drive three-door accelerates from 0-100km/h in a claimed 6.5 seconds and boasts a top speed of 235km/h.

Performance upgrades specific to the DS3 Racing include lower suspension, stiffer springs, re-rated shock absorbers, bigger brakes, wider tracks, revised steering mapping, a new exhaust system and a reprogrammed electronic stability control system.

The DS3 Racing is now more than three years old, having debuted at the Geneva motor show in March 2010.

Citroen Australia this week bolstered its premium city car line-up with the introduction of the DS3 Cabrio, which is priced from $30,990 before on-road costs.




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