Thierry Mattrose: “For DS 4, it was hard to translate style intent into an industrial reality”

Thierry Mattrose. Design Director at DS Automotive

On the sidelines of the unveiling of the new DS 4, the Head of Branding gave us an interview commenting on the work done on this agreement and giving an overview of the scope’s evolution.

What technical limitations does engineering have to address during the new DS4 stylistic configuration?
Before starting design work, we had the opportunity to work on the DS 4 project for two years with engineers on the car’s platform to jointly define several aspects such as wheel size, hood position and visor placement. – Breeze, car proportions, etc. This helped us get an exceptional personality. So we had no particular difficulty in responding to the technical limitations, as we worked on them directly and with our engineers. However, there were a few more bodywork details that we had to negotiate and go with the engineers. This is the case with the posterior bulkhead and its side ribs which are considered to be versatile in sealing, because it is very difficult to form sheet metal with cutting folds that are lost on the surface of the body. It was a challenge to translate the stylistic intention into an industrial reality.

Will the dual boom daytime running lights be used or rejected on other vehicles in the range?
These dual vertical DRLs (Editor’s note: “Daytime Running Light”) are a clear development of our lightweight signature that we will deploy on all future vehicles in the DS range. Meanwhile, these vertical daytime running lights are part of our DNA, given that they already appear on all models in the current DS range.

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Are you planning other types of bodywork, like a true coupe or DS4 SUV?
Refusing the DS 4 as a coupe or SUV isn’t something on the agenda. In fact, since the start of this project, we have made the choice to have a very attractive silhouette that evokes the coupĂ© world. And this is true when we think of DS 4; She has that very dynamic, muscular, and athletic side that does not need a secondary cut. As for the SUV variant, today we have the DS 7 Crossback that plays that role and meets customer expectations. So the DS 4 itself responds to those who want a sporty silhouette. Then for those who want a more adventurous look, there’s the Cross version.

DS design extensively uses virtual reality (VR) to design each model … What do you think are the limitations of this methodology?
Today, we carry out 80% of the development of the digital method, and this is made possible thanks to the tools at our disposal such as virtual reality glasses that allow to have a good judgment on the project we are developing in 3D. Now, the limit is that from the very beginning of the project we will always need to create a model, in order to ensure that we have the correct proportions. Then at the end of the project, we came up with a final model to improve the volumes, surfaces, and lighting ports on the bodywork … but for that, we need to have a car outside in the middle of its competitors. So we still need a mockup at the beginning and at the end. I don’t know what it will be like in 50 years, but in another 10 or 15 years we’ll still have that mandatory passage through a physical model, despite the computer design. This is more necessary for the exterior style than the interior for which we need to sit and evaluate ergonomics, steering wheel positioning and armrests, but also touching leather, fabrics and materials. And this, virtual reality will not replace it.

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What is the next new model (s) that will expand the DS line?
Ultimately, the DS range should contain 6 models. Of these six programmed cars, the DS4 is the fourth, so we still have two shadow shapes to create. Without betraying a secret, given that we have unveiled the concept of Aero Sport Lounge, ASL, I want to tell you that on the two expected cars there will be one, at least, that will be ASL. It will not be a coupe-SUV, but rather a new breed of vehicle, a kind of efficient and innovative coupe and an alternative to an SUV that also takes over many of the features and principles of the DS 4.

Jalil Bennani / Environmental automotive inspiration

Frank Mccarthy

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