The different DS (berline) models

There are two different types of Citroen D-model cars: the DS and the ID. Both the D-model berline (sedan) and cabriolet (convertible) can either be a DS or an ID. D-model breaks (stationwagons) are officially always ID's although they are technically much closer to the DS. Confusing ... ?

The difference between the DS and ID lay in the amount and type of hydraulic high pressure "features" used, the different interior (and exterior) trimming and the engine power. The original DS and ID in the late fifties were quite different regarding the use of hydraulic components (see the lists below); both had the hydropneumatic suspension of course, but that was about it when talking about the ID. The differences between the DS and ID became smaller with the years, but there is one thing that the ID's never got and that is the DS brake system.
The brake system used on the DS is more sophisticated in the way that the hydraulic pressure working on the front and rear brakes is dynamically dependent of the load (weight) on the front and rear axis respecitively. This sytem is easily recognized by the characteristic "mushroom" shaped brake pedal and was never used on the ID berlines (the "mushroom" shaped brake pedal was used on RHD D's, but then with the simpler ID brake system.)

Now the confusing thing is that the breaks, which are officially ID's, always used the DS brake system ...

DS19, DS20, DS21, DS23

The four DS models are characterised by the following hydraulic "features" :

  • hydropneumatic suspension
  • hydraulic high pressure brakes, operated by a small mushroom shaped "pedal".
  • hydraulic power steering
  • hydraulically operated semi-automatic gear box + clutch (BVH)
    starting from february 1963 a standard manual gear box was an option (BVM)
    (BVH = Boite Vitesse Hydraulique; BVM = Boite Vitesse Mechanique)

The DS Pallas is the more luxurious version of the DS, it is easily recognized by the trim on the body panels and the more luxurious interior (carpet on the sills, optional leather seats etc.). Other special version of the DS are the all black DS Prefecture (voiture d' administration) for governement use and the DS Prestige which had a separation "wall" between the front and rear seats.

CitroŽn build one special edition version of the DS. This version is sometimes called DS21 Jubilee and was available in model year 1972 only. Click here for some more information on this special DS21.




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DS19 (1911cc)                    
DS19 (DS19A, 1985cc)        
DS20   2a)        
DS21 i.e.      
DS23 i.e.      

BVM option

1)               2b)        

Pallas option


BW option

1) Starting from February 1963 (BVM = Boite Vitesse Mechanique = manual shift)
2a) Starting from sept 1970 the DS20 always has a BVH
2b) Starting from sept 1970 the manual shift gear box is now always a 5-speed gear box.
3) On DS21(i.e.) and DS23(i.e.) only (BW = BorgWarner fully automatic gearbox)

ID19, ID20, DSpecial, DSuper

The ID's are characterised by the following hydraulic "features" :

  • hydropneumatic suspension
  • hydraulic brakes, operated by a normal brake pedal !
    the brakes were not high pressure assisted until october 1961)
    (RHD ID's had a mushroom brake pedal but with the simpler ID brake hydraulics)
  • no power steering, this was available as an option starting from october 1962.
  • manual gear box (i.e. never with BVH)

Originally there were three versions of the ID; the ID19 Confort (interior similar but not identical to that of the DS19), the ID19 Luxe (more simple interior) and the very basic ID19 Normal which had the unmodified engine from the 11CV (Traction Avant).
There was also an ID19 with an separation wall; the ID19 voiture de maitre (mayors car).




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ID19 (ID19P, 1911cc) 1)                  
ID19 (ID19B, 1985cc)      
ID19 Normale    

Power steering option


5-speed option

1) First ID19 Luxe delivered in March 1957, first ID19 Confort delivered in June 1957.
2) 5-speed gear box option on DSuper only.