Spy photos of the Citroen DS3-R have emerged showing off the French automaker's potential street legal version of their next rally car. Details and pics inside.

Spy photos of the upcoming Citroen DS3-R have surfaced before its official debut.  The car is now expected to get a debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

In photos apparently taken at Citroen HQ, and later posted to several Peugeot forum sites, we get a clear look at the upcoming competitor to the Mitsubishi Lancer and Subaru Impreza.  The black-and-orange hot hatch is expected to be the street-legal version of Citroen's next rally car when the C4 is retired from racing after the 2010 WRC season.

These pictures show a car that looks to be almost production-ready, with a black honeycomb grille ringed in orange, and chrome detailing on the mirrors and door handles.  We do see evidence of a front splitter, and a rear overhang spoiler.  Sadly, no clear rear photos have emerged.

Speculative reports suggest the car will have a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine producing up to 210 hp (157 kW).  The engine could be mated to a six-speed manual transmission getting the car from standstill-to-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds.  This is nowhere near the stock 276 hp (205.9 kW / 280 PS) of the Evo X, or the 305 hp (227 kW / 309 PS) of the STi.

We're hoping the French automaker offers a high-performance version of the car.  With these photos falling from the sky, look for Citroen to release official information about the DS3-R shortly.

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