The Paris debut of the new electrified DS Automobiles’ DS 7 4x4 and DS 3 Crossback E-Tense included the launch of the brand’s double championship-winning Formula E Techeetah team’s 2019/20 season.
DS is joining a race to ride the electric vehicle (EV) adoption wave and to establish itself as the PSA Group’s pioneering premium brand with the DS 7 Crossback 4x4 plug-in hybrid and full-electric DS 3 Crossback E-Tense models.
Priced from £47,725 (including the Government’s ULEV grant), the new DS 7 may command an £8,500 premium over its internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, but it puts the brand in the frame for EV-ready fleets and user-choosers looking to take advantage of April 2020’s changing BIK tax legislation with a band of 12% 16% until then).
It claims a 31-mile pure electric range and can rely on electric propulsion up to 84mph.
The DS 7’s combination of a 200PS 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and 109PS front and rear electric motors delivers a total of up to 300PS, enough for a 6.5-second acceleration to 62mph and a 136mph top speed. CO2 emissions stand at 33g/km (WLTP) alongside a combined fuel consumption of 124mpg.
E-Tense branding, which extends to a bonnet badge and embossed gear selector, plus DS’s desire for craftsmanship in its cabins, is communicated by distinctive, deeply-padded leather seats, featuring a ‘watch strap’ design in the range-topping Ultra Prestige trim.
A trapezoidal design theme lends a distinctive style, while an arching gear selector giving access to an eight-speed automatic gearbox is familiar to Peugeot products, along with the switchgear lining the centre console.
Both DS E-Tense models share trim levels familiar to their ICE counterparts, with Alcantara-trimmed Performance Line and leather-lined Prestige and Ultra Prestige offerings.
Owners will benefit from MyDS, a smartphone app allowing access to battery levels, cabin pre-conditioning and the ability to pre-plan routes according to charge point availability.
A DS Mobility offering, meanwhile, will allow a switch into another DS model for short periods.
On the roads in and around Paris the effects of the DS 7’s camera-based suspension management system, which scans the road ahead and adapts to suite the prevalent conditions, could be felt.
The DS 7 only delivers its full 300PS power with battery charge on-board. It pulls hard in this case, but comfort and refinement are its key USPs.
Whether DS has the chance to lure customers away from the Audi Q3, BMW X3 or Mercedes-Benz C-Class may well depend on a prospective owners’ desire to be different.
But, with ithe E-Tense’s early 2020 launch, the PSA Group will have a product that can compete.