The DS Aero Sport Lounge concept has an interior made of straw

27th February 2020
Bob Murray

We’ve already had one new DS this week, the DS 9, but the design bods at DS clearly needed to let their hair down a little. Enter this, the DS Aero Sport Lounge concept, due to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next week. With its Formula E racecar-inspired electric powertrain, brand-defying design and interior trimmed in straw, it’s unlike anything DS has ever done before.


“DS Automobiles is in the position of challenger,” says DS chief executive Béatrice Foucher. “The brand enjoys a unique history and expertise to shake up the rules of the car industry.”

The Aero Sport Lounge will certainly shake up perceptions of the PSA group premium brand when it appears on the Geneva stand alongside the DS 9. The DS9 plays up svelte French saloon elegance while the Aero Sport Lounge (let’s call it the ASL to save time) appears more like a Lexus SUV with its angular aggression.

Deep body sculpting, origami folds and feature lines so sharp they could cut you combine to make a very strong statement for a brand that has been in need of a strong new statement for a while. We’d better like what we see, too, for as DS says “this concept car previews our future.”


The one surprise about what powers the ASL is that it has taken DS so long to deploy its electric high performance credentials in a road car. DS Automobiles was the first premium brand to take part in electric Formula E racing four years ago, and remains at the forefront of the class, winning both drivers’ and team titles in 2018/19. The ASL is no race car but it is closer to the Formula E racer than anything else in the range.

A single electric motor pumps out 680PS (671bhp), enough for this to become one very fast Lounge on wheels, with 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds. There’s 110 kWh of batteries under the floor, so plenty of juice for a decent range – DS says as much as 400 miles on a charge.

DS says the design, with its exceptionally long and sloping roof resulting in just a letterbox of a rear screen, has been developed to maximise aerodynamic efficiency, but doesn’t go into details. What we do know is that this is a big car, 5m long and sitting on 23-inch wheels.


It has Lounge in its name and lounge is what the interior promises. The seating position is high, SUV-style. Instead of a traditional instrument display, information is projected on to a satin cotton strip; it possibly works better than it sounds.

There are screens for the rear vision cameras but no touch screens, nor any buttons or knobs of course. Interaction with this car is thanks to a mixture of artificial intelligence, augmented gesture control, haptic technology and three-dimensional ultrasound. And they are just a few of the buzzwords that DS uses to explain this “control revolution”.

So where exactly does the straw fit in? This is the sustainable material of choice for the marquetry on the dashboard and back of the seats. Turning humble straw into a luxury decorative art is not, however, easy. The rye grass is harvested in Burgundy, then dried and coloured before being split, stem by stem, by a Parisian craftsman according to 17th century techniques. It is then glued in position where its natural silica varnish gives it a silky touch and also makes it heat resistant and waterproof.


Luxury craftsmanship also embraces plump seats covered in morew satin cotton, doors that feature plaited microfibres with multiple transparent strands that bring light into the cockpit, and illuminated three-dimensional weaving.

“For this concept car, which is a prelude to our next creations, we have opted for solutions that are avant-garde and high technology in which the purely technical element is concealed for the benefit of the beauty,” says DS design boss Thierry Metroz.

  • Geneva 2020

  • Geneva Motor Show

  • DS

  • Concept

  • Aero Sport Lounge

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