Evolving from its previous incarnation as the ‘Citroen DS3’, the 2017 DS 3’s standout styling change is a big and flashy new grille design up.
Bringing the little DS 3 hatch and cabrio in-line with the restyled and larger DS 4 hatch and streamlined DS 5 wagon, the new grille features bold silver trim that extends out to hug the headlights, matched to a new lower bumper design.
The changes further mark the DS marque’s move away from the Citroen brand that birthed it, which means that the French car maker’s familiar chevron badge design has been dropped from the front-end. (It had already been absent at the rear.)
Away from styling tweaks, the most significant change for Australian DS 3 buyers is the introduction of the ‘PureTech 130 S&S’ engine, which already features in the larger Citroen C4.
The 130 is a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol unit that offers 95kW at 5500rpm and 230Nm of torque from 1750rpm. It’s matched to a six-speed Aisin automatic transmission.
In Australia, the PureTech 130 will join the existing Euro 6-compliant 121kW 1.6-litre engine that powers the DSport models - currently the only variants on offer locally. (An 88kW DStyle model was offered until 2015.)
Other upgrades include a new seven-inch touch display and, on higher-spec models, the addition of Mirror Screen, allowing for connectivity with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment platforms.
There’s also front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, and hill assist in manual models.
DS 3 Performance hot hatch
Perhaps the biggest talking point in the range internationally, however, is the high-output Performance model.
Largely an update to the Racing model that graced the European range previously, the DS 3 Performance is driven again by that variant’s 1.6-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine.
The Performance model gains a handy boost in torque, however, with a new 300Nm - up from 275Nm previously - matched to the same handy 154kW that was on offer before.
The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and a Torsen limited-slip differential, with power sent to the front wheels.
The Performance also boasts a 15mm lower ride height than its regular counterparts, along with a track that is 26mm wider at the front and 14mm wider at the rear.
There’s also 323mm brake discs up front, matched to 249mm rotors out back.
Performance figures for the Performance model have not been released, but, in its Racing guise, the little hot hatch claimed a 0-100km/h time of 6.5 seconds.
But, unlike the new little 1.2-litre option - and as with the DS 3 Racing before it - the Performance is yet to be confirmed as a new entrant in Australia’s growing arena of light pocket-rocket hatches.
The revised DS 3 range will make its Australian debut in late 2016, with exact timing, pricing and specifications to be confirmed closer to launch.