New DS 9 E-TENSE plug-in hybrid luxury saloon to rival BMW 530e

Flagship luxury saloon unveiled with plug-in power – joining DS 3 and DS 7 as first of four new models

The all-new DS 9 luxury saloon will be the first of four new electrified models for the brand – all due before the end of 2022. The flagship saloon was revealed in online earlier this year – ahead of the cancelled 2020 Geneva Motor Show.

At almost five metres long, it has the size and stature to rival cars like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, as well as plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology for a modest pure-electric range. The DS 9 is due on sale in early 2021.

Initially, the DS 9 E-TENSE line-up will comprise a single model featuring a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor for a total power output of 222bhp and between 25 and 31 miles of electric range.

This version will later be joined by a 247bhp model with an increased zero-emissions range, as well as a flagship four-wheel drive version with 355bhp – likely using the same drivetrain as the high-performance 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered from DS' sister brand Peugeot.

The launch model of the DS 9 uses an eight-speed automatic transmission, and will do up to 84mph in Electric mode. This setting is automatically selected on start-up, while Hybrid and Sport modes are also available. The latter uses both the electric motor and petrol engine for maximum performance – adjusting the software mapping for the throttle, gearbox, steering and suspension for a more dynamic driving experience.

The DS 9 also features a regenerative braking system to harness energy that would otherwise be lost as the car slows to a halt. An E-Save function allows drivers to hold battery power for use later in the their journey; the batteries can be topped up in 1hr 30 minutes using a 7.4kW charger.

At 4.93 metres long, the DS 9 measures up neatly alongside the BMW or Mercedes mentioned above. The car’s nose is inspired by the front of the DS 7 Crossback SUV, while its sloped roofline echoes that of the latest Peugeot 508 Fastback – unsurprising given that it's based on the long-wheelbase version of that car produced for the Chinese market. The DS 9 features a Clous de Paris ‘sabre’ that sits proud and runs the length of the bonnet.

Inside, the firm’s familiar diamond watch-strap theme takes centre stage with sharp flashes throughout the cabin. It uses a similar set of touch-sensitive buttons to those in the DS 3 Crossback. The large central touchscreen is topped with an analogue clock, while hand-wrapped leather appears on the door handles. 

The rear should be roomy thanks to a 2.9-metre wheelbase, while the back seats can be optioned with heating, cooling and massage functions. DS will offer a variety of ‘Inspiration’ themes, allowing owners to customise the car to their taste.

There’s loads of safety kit and cutting-edge technology on the DS 9, including DS Active Scan Suspension, Level 2 autonomous driving capability, DS Park Pilot parking assistance and night vision. Adaptive LED lights are also available, which adjust for speed, road type and weather conditions. 

Initially, the DS 9 will join the DS 3 and DS 7 Crossback models, before a pair of DS 4 variants and a range-topping SUV arrive at a later date. Post-2022, it's thought DS will make use of the PSA Groupe's new eVMP mechanical platform – allowing for additional pure-electric models to further boost the luxury maker's range.

Prices for the DS 9 E-TENSE haven't been revealed, but it’s likely that even the entry-level model will cost upwards of £35,000. A cheaper, petrol-only model with no hybrid assistance will arrive later, priced from around £32,000.