New DS3 is scheduled for release in 2010 and will compete with MINI as a premium small car. Citroen will be using the DS badge for a whole range of new, near-premium models including the DS4 and DS5, based on the current C4 and C5.

People may be a little confused by the news of what exactly Citroen is going to do with the iconic DS name, so let's lay it down here straight for you:

Citroen is not reviving the old DS line. It is using the DS badge for a whole new range of vehicles. It will turn DS into a new premium brand.

There, was that so hard?

One of the first models planned for this new premium badging is the DS3, a hatchback set to be available with 3 and 5 doors slated to compete with BMW's MINI. The DS3 is based on the current C3 and is at the moment undergoing winter testing in northern Scandinavia. Last week we showed first spy photos of the 5-door testing and now we have these spy shots of the 3-door DS3 doing the same.

Although Citroen states the new DS line will not replace the C2, C3 or C4 range as Citroen re-organizes its product portfolio in pursuit of a new strategy to take the brand upmarket, it is speculated they will eventually be absorbed.

DS badged Citroens will be near-premium models priced slightly below the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz but meant to compete against those brands in the marketplace.

A DS4 is also planned, based on the current C4, as is a DS5 from the existing C5. Both of those models are scheduled for release in 2011.

The DS3 will debut at the Geneva Motor Show as the DS Inside Concept car. Judging from these photos, the production DS3 is very close to the previously seen C-Cactus Concept, including the alloy wheels.

The DS3 will hit the market in 2010 with petrol, diesel and hybrid versions.

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