When Citroën presented the DS to the world in 1955, a car from another galaxy rolled down the streets of Paris. The DS is innovative, extravagant and it captivates the masses. But she has a minor flaw. Because under the interestingly shaped hood works an aged engine. It was actually developed by Maurice Sainturat for the Traction Avant (TA) models.
So it is pre-war goods, even if the machine is heavily revised for use in the DS. Nevertheless, it is only an emergency solution, because the fathers of the DS actually had a flat six-cylinder in mind. He has to wait, because the revolutionary redesign of the DS costs enormous resources and the company is running out of time.
But everyone can live with the old engine in the futuristic car. Citroën increases the output to 75 hp, which is good for speeds of over 140 km/h, and the country roads of the time don't offer more. The DS scores with its road holding, the brakes, the steering, the hydropneumatic concept works.
Over the years, the engine performance approaches three figures, the DS is getting stronger and faster. However, the revolutionary machine under the aluminum hood is still missing. Does anyone miss her? Probably yes, because Citroën is working hard on an engine with electronic injection.
DS 21 Pallas Injection Electronics
In autumn 1969 the time had finally come. The DS has actually already passed its zenith, now it is getting a fresh cell cure. It hits the trade press and customers like a bomb. With the DS 21 Pallas Injection Électronique, the first French car with electronic injection rolls into the showrooms. Second in this class worldwide, the eternal rivals from Untertürkheim, the ones with the star on the hood, were a year faster with the 250 CE.
Citroën certainly doesn't like that, but it shows how high up the brand once was. And what has become of her since then.
The trade press cheers, the customers are enthusiastic, the DS experiences another youth. At the Quai de Javel, the headquarters, people are reserved. A small “ie” at the rear for Injection Électronique is enough to indicate the innovation. 139 hp (SAE) accelerate the DS 21 to 187 km/h. The DS finally has the engine it deserves.
DS Automobiles brings along a DS 21 Pallas Injection Électronique (1969). Rétromobile 2023 to Versailles. Along with an interesting one SM prototype Both models stand for milestones in automotive history.
From February 1st to 5th, the classics can be seen during the Rétromobile.
With images from DS Automobiles