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Citroen's DS luxury brand debuts cafe racer inspired car

by Ben Hsu

It\'s a luxury French hatchback inspired by vintage British bike culture.

DS, Citroen's upscale luxury brand, announced a DS3 Cafe Racer inspired by customized classic motorcycles.

The limited edition is based on the company's compact 3-door hatchback, but glamorized with design elements from the cafe racer renaissance. In the 1960s, cafe racers were groups of British motorcyclists that stripped their bikes for speed and gathered at cafes in the London area. Soon, the style of their Nortons, Triumphs, and later Hondas were picked up by other industries like music and fashion and still resonates today.

"This deep fascination with the Café Racer movement, with the glamour of rock'n'roll and the alluring vehicles of the past, with the beauty of unique and personal objects, led us to create this rare limited edition," said DS product and development chief Eric Apode. Specifically, the press release notes famed bike builder Shinya Kimura, the "Japanese philosophy of life," and events such as Wheels and Waves.

Essentially an appearance package, the DS3 Cafe Racer comes with a cream-colored roof inspired by a vintage color called Parthenon, adorned with retro designs by Studio BMD. The pattern is repeated on the DS3's unique "floating" B-pillar. Only three contrast colors for the body are available — black, blue, and gray. Parthenon also appears on the DS3 Cafe Racer's exclusive 17-inch wheels, cabin stitching, and dash pad. Gloss black side mirrors and door handles finish off the package.

While the DS3 Cafe Racer sees no performance enhancements, it's interesting to see a French company take inspiration from the world of vintage British bikes. Of course, there is one more accessory that is included with the car to complete the cafe racer look — a silk black and Parthenon scarf.