The DS 7 Crossback has been revealed ahead of its Geneva show unveiling, where it will be a crucial debut for Citroën’s upmarket sister brand.
Not only is the car the first DS Automobiles SUV, it is also the first model conceived specifically for DS. All previous cars sold by the brand since it launched in 2014 have been evolved from their Citroën counterparts.
When the DS 7 Crossback arrives in showrooms in 2018, it will mark the start of an intensive launch programme for the brand, seeing a new car every 12 months over the next six years.
According to industry observers the models will likely include a replacement of all three of the current DS range, including the DS 3 that is the brand’s most popular model. The most likely immediate follow-up to the DS 7 Crossback, however, is thought to be a smaller SUV dubbed DS 3 Crossback.
Premium buyers targeted
The DS 7 Crossback targets mid-sized premium SUVs such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. Its makers describe the car as ‘a stylish vehicle with a wide range of attributes’, including several autonomous driving technologies – Active LED Vision, Connected Pilot and Driver Attention Assist topping the list.
The designers claim that the DS 7 Crossback will be instantly recognisable from front or rear, and at day or night. The brand’s signature ‘DS Wings’ front-end treatment continues, the wing-shaped headlamps framing a new take on the diamond-effect grille.
Light signatures have long been a central DS styling trait and in the Crossback rotating LED lamps feature at the front, with 3D-effect tail lights.
Inside the emphasis will be on luxury, buyers offered a choice of four different styling treatments, as previewed on the Divine DS concept unveiled at the 2014 Paris show.
Plentiful leather upholstery and bespoke stitching are among the options, while technology will include two 12-inch touchscreens – one centrally mounted for the navigation and infotainment and the other forming a digital instrument panel.
Five front-wheel-drive only powertrains will be available – familiar 130, 180 and 225hp petrol units and diesels of 130 and 180hp from the Peugeot/Citroën range will be paired with either a six-speed manual gearbox or the new EAT8 eight-speed auto transmission.
First PSA plug-in car
The only all-wheel-drive option will be the range-topping plug-in hybrid ‘E-Tense’ version, evolved from the E-Tense concept seen at the 2016 Paris show and set to go on sale in 2019, a year after the mainstream range.
The first petrol PHEV launched by the PSA Group, this combines a 200hp petrol engine and 109hp electric motor driving the front wheels, and a second 109hp motor driving the rears.
The E-Tense will be able to be driven in completely electric mode for up to 37 miles – hybrid economy is not yet being quoted. Charging will take 4.5 hours in standard mode with a 2.5-hour fast option.
DS Automobiles will unveil the DS 7 Crossback at the Geneva Show on 7th March, and at the same time online reservations will open for a launch edition model, the LA Premiere. This high-specification version features exclusive styling including the brand’s signature ‘watch-strap’ seat upholstery.