DS Automobiles introduces pricey 2016 DS3 Cabrio and Coupe Performance models image

Starting off in France from 27,950 euros for the coupe version or even from 30,450 for the cabrio, the DS3 Performance models are on the top roster of hot hatch pricing.

In the Pantheon of subcompact hot hatches the Renault Clio RS had the top honors ever since it first appeared (some were even bold enough to try and manhandle the Clio V6 bomb, but that’s a different story). But now the French have decided the new generation should be dumber than most of its competitors. And we’re not talking about the fact that’s its only available as a five-door because practicality is never an issue when it’s added, not subtracted. We’re talking about having an automatic gearbox – be it of the dual clutch kind. Anyways, that has left a power void that everyone is trying to fill. And the latest arrival t the party is the stylish Citroen DS3. They tried their hand in the segment with the Racing limited performance model and now they’re back for more… sales.

While this new Performance version of the DS3 coupe and cabrio will not attempt to reign supreme in the hot hatch battle – where the Clio RS 220 Trophy and the Mini John Cooper Works are fighting – it has some advantages over its rivals. For starters it’s a true fashion statement – the model is upscale and will look good both on the track and in front of the Opera House. Then it has the 1.6-liter turbo tweaked to 208 PS and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) of torque. And then it uses a great trump card: a Torsen limited-slip differential is standard, alongside a six-speed manual transmission with short gears. It’s the same powertrain as in the Peugeot 208 GTi 30th Anniversary Edition.