The DS 9 is presented in society and extends the model range of the only French luxury brand beyond the SUV. The DS representation saloon is committed to a spectacular quality of construction, generous habitability, and an elegant style of its own.
We have attended the static presentation of the third model with 100% genetics of the French brand after the DS 3 Crossback and DS 7 Crossback. This is its new flagship, the DS 9, whose debut was scheduled for the 2020 Geneva Motor Show canceled by the coronavirus. Even without announced prices, the commercialization of this model will start around November and we will have to wait for the first weeks of 2021 for the first deliveries to be made in the dealerships.
At 4.93 meters long and 1.85 meters wide, the DS 9 faces rivals such as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class, Jaguar XF, Volvo S90, or Lexus ES. The front is easily recognizable as a DS thanks to the huge chrome grille characteristic of the French manufacturer and striking headlights with DS Active Led Vision technology.
The general style is conservative and elegant since the user of this type of large saloons usually prefers the classic style. The brand has resorted to its heritage in elements such as the integrated rear indicators on the upper sides of the bezel, a detail called DS Cornets that is inspired by the iconic Citroën DS that was born in the 50s.
A chrome band runs longitudinally across the hood dividing it in two, a stylistic device that polarizes opinions. In the search that distinguished air, the chrome is very present, with moldings of this finish joining the rear lights or details that highlight the optical groups.
Sometimes it is the details that tip the balance in favor of one model or another and that is why the French brand has taken care of each one of them. Good example retractable door handles, which are completely flush when you do not need to use them. The Proximity Hands-Free Access system detects the key when it is within 3 meters, at which time the vehicle automatically lights up.
At one and a half meters, the vehicle unlocks and the door handles automatically unfold. To close the car, just walk 2 meters away, at which point the handles retract and the vehicle locks automatically. No need to touch anything.
As soon as the doors are closed, the cabin isolates us from outside noise thanks to laminated and acoustic glass. That peaceful environment is the ideal place to delight in the Electra Focal Hi-Fi audio system with 14 speakers while looking at a dashboard reminiscent of the DS 7 Crossback.
DS has put all the meat on the grill in terms of quality of performance. There is an abundant presence of noble materials that can be combined in different environments or “Inspirations” as the brand calls it. There is no shortage of details such as the crystal-set controls or the spectacular classic-style B.R.M R180 watch crowning the top of the dashboard, just above the keyless start button.
The technological presence cannot be absent and two large information screens are displayed. On the one hand, the digital instrumentation, which even offers a night view through the DS Night Vision system that shows the images of an infrared camera installed in the calendar and highlights the pedestrians and animals present at a distance of 100 meters.
On the other, the multimedia system with a generous 12-inch screen and connectivity with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. In a controversial decision, the PSA firm has decided to place the screen below the central vents, breaking the visual continuity with the instrumentation and leaving it further away from the field of vision of the road.
In both the front and rear seats, the seats have heating, ventilation, and a massage function. In terms of space, the rear seats benefit from DS’s use of a new version of the EMP2 platform with an extended wheelbase of up to 2.90 m. Narrowly overcoming the battle offered by the Peugeot 508 L, that is, the 508 extended battle offered in the Chinese market.
Based on this, the large French saloon can boast huge legroom in the rear seats. The height is limited to passengers up to 1.85 m tall. This second row of seats is very comfortable, especially the right rear that can handle the position of the front seat to stretch your legs if you want. The central armrest integrates the buttons for the massage and climate control functions of the seat as well as having a storage space equipped with USB ports.
The boot offers 510 liters of capacity, a generous volume and well usable thanks to the regular shapes of the interior and a fairly wide loading mouth. Also, the only French luxury brand proposes in its large saloon a rear door with an electric opening and closing system.
Only with plug-in hybrid versions
Being a static presentation, there is no choice but to wait to have the first dynamic contact with the vehicle and to express our driving impressions. If we can anticipate that it is available only with hybrid plug-in versions E-Tense.
At the time of launch, the DS 9 will have a PHEV system with 225 CV and an electric range of 40 km that will allow it to have the Zero label. Later the range will be increased with a variant with a larger capacity battery that will allow it to reach 250 hp and the top of the range will be a 360 hp all-wheel-drive version.
Riding comfort is expected to be noticeable with solutions such as adaptive damping DS Active Scan Suspension that employs multiple sensors and a camera on top of the windshield to scan for tarmac imperfections just before weighing it, adapting the suspension in advance.
Numerous attendees will also be present to enable level 2 automated driving. The DS Drive Assist function stands out, and assistance regulates speed and distance with the preceding vehicle and keeps the vehicle in the lane. It also simplifies parking maneuvers with the DS Park Pilot that detects a space appropriate to the size of the DS 9 simply bypassing up to 30km / h and manages the movement of the steering wheel and pedals to park only in parallel or on battery.