DS Automobiles has revealed more details about its new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) as the company aims to cement its position as a growing brand across Europe.
The DS 4 is the fourth model from DS, following in the tyre treads of the DS 7 Crossback, DS 3 Crossback and DS 9. If this latest car had a subtitle, it would probably be “choice” given the variety of powertrains and range options on offer for the consumer.
DS has based the vehicle on the multi-energy EMP2 platform, allowing for petrol, diesel and a PHEV powertrain. On the PHEV variant, the 180 hp 4-cylinder engine is paired with a 110 hp electric motor and an e-EAT8 gearbox, for a combined 225 hp. It’s powered by a more efficient battery with new, more compact and larger capacity cells located behind the deformable beam, which give it an all-electric range of around 30 miles on the WLTP cycle.
Surprisingly, there’s no all-electric variant of the vehicle. When asked, a DS representative mentioned that their aspiring customers were looking for a vehicle that they could drive without having to worry about range anxiety. An odd omission given DS Automobiles’ and success in Formula E.
As such, details on charging times, and speeds have yet to be revealed but the company is confident in knowing who this car is aimed at. Marion David, Product Director, DS Automobiles said: “DS 4 was conceived to redefine the outline of the Premium C segment. It’s aimed at customers attracted by two body shapes: the new aspirational Coupé-SUV and the traditional compact hatchback. At every stage of its design, the idea of appealing to these two segments drove our decisions.”
To be fair, it is impressive-sounding, coming in at 1.83m wide, 4.4m long and 1.47m from the ground to the roof with 430 litres of boot space. The majority of the range will come with 19″ wheels but there will be options for 20″ alloys, tall and narrow wheels and All Season 3PMSF A-rated tyres, too.
Inside the car, there’s a lot of tech being used to justify what will no doubt be a luxury price tag to go with the offering.
One of the key highlights is the touch-free system. The driver will be able to access essential information without actually touching the infotainment screen – that’s going to go down well with the crowd who believe the driver interface should be more, not less, tactile – through a combination of voice commands and gesture controls. This will also be customisable for different drivers in the vehicle.
Other smart tech includes the addition of an infra-red camera that can spot potential hazards up to 200 metres away and highlights them on the heads-up display; and while that will help for night-time driving, there’s a lot of sensors for self-driving for level 2 semi-autonomous driving, which includes blind-spot and read traffic assist, adaptive cruise control and sensors to check for the driver’s attention.
There’s also semi-automatic overtaking, speed adjustment for corners and anticipated speed recommendations from signposts. The cameras on the car will also be used to change the suspension of the car depending on what they see ahead, potentially allowing for heightened comfort.
An air purification system actively protects the cockpit with sensors for PM2.5 particles inside and exterior pollution detection.
There are three variants to the range. The DS 4 is the core of the range with special bumpers, subtle chrome touches and a roof in contrasting black that aims to give an imposing, athletic stance.
The DS 4 Cross version is aiming to be seen as an SUV with a treatment to the lower part of the bumper emphasised by special protection and matt black paint. The gloss black upper parts to the side window frames, gloss black grille, distinctive alloy wheels, roof bars and a roof the same colour as the bodywork finishes this strong look. It also comes with Advanced Traction Control for improved grip with sand, snow and mud modes and Hill Assist Descent Control.
The final version, the DS 4 Performance Line aims to be more dynamic and has an exterior trimmed in black with a Black Pack (DS Wings, strip between the rear lights, grille and side window frames) and distinctive black alloy wheels as well as an exclusive interior.
Thierry Metroz, Design Director, DS Automobiles said: “Even before drawing the first pencil line, we worked for two years with our engineers shaping the technical platform. When we began the creative process, the room for manoeuvre we had in devising a new concept was incredible. Inspired by the DS AERO SPORT LOUNGE concept, the silhouette is unique in the segment with proportions that have never been seen before. The outline is athletic, very muscular, compact and sits on very large wheels. It’s turned out to be aerodynamic, efficient and charismatic all at once.”
For the eco-minded purchaser, the DS 4 is made of 95% reusable materials and 85% recyclable parts. 30% of its weight is from renewable or recycled materials, divided between metals and polymers. The dashboard in particular is made of 20% hemp for parts that can’t be seen.
You can already see DS 4 models in stores across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America but if you want to buy one you’ll have to hold off until October at the earliest – and November if in the UK – but that gives you plenty of time to decide what colour you want as there’s a choice of seven: Copper Gold, Lacquered Grey, Pearl Crystal, Platinum Grey, Red Velvet, Pearl White and Perla Nera Black.
It will be interesting to see if the release keeps the company ahead of Lexus. A lot of that may depend on pricing which, like the charging information, is yet to be released.