Frédéric Soubirou

Exterior Design Manager • DS Automobiles

  • Design Team
  • DS World


What are the exterior design features of the DS models?


The reading of the design is graded according to the distance at which a car is observed. At 50 meters, a DS is first of all a racy attitude. When the eye comes closer, it distinguishes sharp, vertical aerodynamic lines at the front and rear. Even closer, he perceives the suppleness, the softness of the sculpted silhouette that binds everything together. This muscular, almost human side releases an emotion.

Finally, the attention to detail becomes visible, such as the treatment of the rear lights in scale pattern or the chrome-plated and guilloche line on the DS9 hood. The daytime light signatures on the front of the DS4 or DS7 are incredible, we know right away that we meet a DS! All these elements constitute the DNA of car design, very distinctive: they express the French Art of Travel of DS Automobiles.

What do you like most about DS cars design?

I always like the design of the latest DS model. As a stylist, we have frustrations. I would still like to make improvements, even on cars already launched. I rediscovered the DS7 and am a huge fan of it, especially the E-Tense 4X4 à 360 hp version. It expresses status, sportiness, dynamism and reassurance because it is well placed on the road. I am proud of the DS4 and also very happy with the work on the new DS3 front: we have restored its status, connecting it to DS4 and DS7. 

Original drawing of the first DS 3

What achievement are you most proud of?

There is not a single DS I like less than the others, it’s like a father with his children. The whole team has worked hard on the design of each car. The DS4 manages to stand out from its competitors, because it is different and very pleasant. The memory of the first DS3 is special because I saw it born and accompanied it in all its phases. It has also been a popular success.

Going out of your comfort zone to question yourself is the designer’s role.

Could you explain your job?

Going out of your comfort zone to question yourself is the designer’s role. My role is to reassure, but also to challenge exterior designers, designer engineers and modelers. I work with a small but stable team that I trust. Everyone is an expert in their position, we work in osmosis as a football team that enjoys playing together: even on weekends, we can’t wait to be in Monday to find ourselves.

What are your sources of inspiration?

At the beginning of my design career, I drew my inspiration from modern architecture, played by Franck Lloyd Wright or Le Corbusier… Architects are perfectly in control of the proportions of their constructions. This last point is fundamental in the automobile. Moreover, architects are often passionate about automotive design and vice versa. Today, I like to think about how all types of objects are designed. Everything inspires me, like a walk in Paris with the discovery of monuments, facades, windows. 

What are your passions, what drives you?

I’m an avid automotive enthusiast, but I also love motor sport. Especially racing cars, by the efficiency they express. I love motorsports in a broad sense. Our job as designers leads us to be very observant of the world around us. My visual curiosity is sharpened by visits to exhibitions, museums, and other cultures, which stimulate creative research. I was able to experience it during my time at the Design DS studio in Shanghai.

Why create a new website dedicated to DS Design?

We will be able to explain to the fans how we designed our products, to reveal to them the essence of our trades. By explaining the purpose of the design of a model, it will bring even more adherence to the style and the DS Brand. The design is not just style, no detail is free, everything is considered. I look forward to explaining some aspects of the models that are not in the press.