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.




  • Dave

    While it still remains unlikely, I would love to see this on sale here!

  • Dbags

    ADR’s are a joke and so are the people who make these stupid rules. If Cherry can come to Aus, then a well balanced, performance Euro with a decent track record should not have an issue. Nanny Country at its best as per usual.

    • Joe

      ….that’s right…..Australia knows more than every other country in the world about engineering…….

    • Brett

      The ADRs are an indirect barrier to foreign competition; they operate like a tariff, but in development and compliance costs rather than through direct taxation. It is nothing to do with local conditions or different engineering standards; it is to protect the inefficient and sub-standard local car industry.

  • Dave W

    What was wrong with the suspension anyway?

    • Phil

      My guess would be it is not the suspension per se, as plenty of other hot hatches have 15mm lower suspension, but the fact that the track width has been altered, the rear torsion beam is a new, wider item. This might mean it has to be complianced as a separate model, a expensive process for low volumes. The alternative would be to redesign it with the standard track width, also an expensive process.

      Perhaps Sime Darby believe they can sell enough to amortise the compliance costs without pricing it out of the market now.

      • Dave W

        Meh. A bit too late. By the time it enters the market here, they’ll have a new one out, just like it was with Renault and the Megane RS250 before.

        That’s if Citroen hasn’t already gone bankrupt.

        Besides, there are plenty of other good hot hatches in its class. That styling just screams juvenile to me.

  • Robbo

    This looks awesome. See MINI? This is what your cars used to look like. Tough and appealing.

  • Jacob

    Australia should not have its own crash test standards.

    If a car is Euro-NCAP tested, then it should be allowed in.

    • Phil

      They are. The ADR’s are about ensuring vehicles comply with uniform minimum standards for safety, emissions etc, and forms part of ensuring all vehicles sold in Australia meet the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act (an Act of Federal Parliament). NCAP testing has nothing to do with the compliancing process, the NCAP tests are more severe than that required for compliancing.

  • TomJob

    It’s too late. The noggin heads previously importing this brand should have done the research anyway.

    Besides I don’t get it. So many specs of cars imported like dimensions and weight are extremely inaccurate and wrong when submitted for ADR approval. The idiots should have just claimed its the same as the regular sport and submitted it. It would have gotten through and no dingleberries at the ADR would have known any differently.

    Seriously if super low and stiff Ferraris and Lambos can get through ADR then the DS3 Racing should not have had any issues whatsoever.

  • Igomi Watabi

    I really, really love Citroens. For no good reason, really. But this. This is really cool.