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This electric Citroen DS has working hydropneumatic suspension

Separate electric pump provides pressure to the system

Do you agree that the Citroen DS is the coolest French car ever made? PHOTO FROM ELECTROGENIC

When you think about iconic French cars, one particular model that comes to mind is the Citroen DS. The vehicle is a national hero of sorts as it prevented former president Charles de Gaulle from getting killed by nationalist gunmen back in 1962. The DS’s complex hydropneumatic suspension made it possible for the leader’s chauffeur to speed away to safety even on flat tires.

This car had been able to vary its ride height before adjustable suspension became mainstream. PHOTOS FROM ELECTROGENIC

For EV-conversion specialist Electrogenic, preserving that clever system was the main goal for its electrified DS restomod. The car’s petrol engine used to drive the mechanical pump that provides hydraulic pressure to make the suspension components work. That’s now replaced by a brushless motor, which is a problem because electric cars never idle while stopped.

What the company did was to equip the DS with a separate electric pump whose sole purpose is to keep the suspension pressurized. Electrogenic claims that the isolated system now provides a more “sophisticated ride” than the original, and retains its ability to vary the ride height based on the driver’s preference. Electrogenic is even considering offering the upgrade to DS owners who still want to retain the original gas engine.

Some of the DS's successors adopted its single-spoke tiller. PHOTOS FROM ELECTROGENIC

As for the propulsion system, the 48.5kWh battery can be fully charged in two hours and has enough capacity for a decent range of 225km. An optional extender pack ups that number to over 322km. The brushless drive motor has 120hp and a healthy 235Nm. Sending power to the front wheels is the DS’s original manual transmission.

Those green spheres are the hydraulic accumulators for the suspension. PHOTOS FROM ELECTROGENIC

Electrogenic hasn’t quoted a price for the Citroen EV conversion. But unlike some outfit “making” the reborn Renault 5 Turbo, the firm actually has finished projects under its belt (such as a battery-powered Volkswagen Transporter rat rod). The challenge for buyers is finding a DS base car that hasn’t been eaten by rust.

Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.