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New 2021 DS 4 E-TENSE plug-in hybrid: pictures, details and on-sale date

Next electrified DS will slot in above DS 3 but below DS 7 in the range when it goes on sale later in 2021

DS 4 E-TENSE

The new DS 4 E-TENSE plug-in hybrid has been revealed in full. The car will be available in three distinct versions – the standard DS 4, the SUV-styled DS 4 Cross and the luxurious DS 4 Performance Line – with a choice of petrol, diesel or petrol-electric plug-in hybrid power.

It's set to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2021 and will be offered from launch with a familiar petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain seen in other Stellantis Group models, including the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid, DS 7 Crossback E-TENSE, Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid and Citroen C5 Hybrid.

This consists of a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and electric motor, producing a combined total of 222bhp and offering a 31-mile electric range. Customers can also choose regular 128, 178 and 222bhp petrol engines, or a 128bhp diesel. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is the only transmission choice.

The design of the DS 4 was inspired by the company's Aero Sport Lounge concept, which was unveiled in February 2020 but never got to make a public debut due to cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show. It measures 4.4 metres long, 1.83 metres wide and 1.47 metres high. Up front, there's a new light signature embedded in the slim LED matrix projector headlights, as well as LED daytime running lights, while wheel sizes up to 20 inches are available.

The DS 4 Performance Line variant of the car is set apart by black exterior trim – on the wings, between the rear lights on the grille and on the side window frames. It also gets a specific alloy-wheel design, as well a specific interior finish, including swathes of Alcantara trim, plaited cloth upholstery, forged carbon on the steering wheel, customisable ambient lighting and a 690W, 14-speaker Focal sound system.

Elsewhere, the DS 4 Cross version (below) gets off-roader-inspired styling cues, including matt black finish lower down on the body, as well as gloss-black upper window frames, a gloss-black grille, its own design of alloy wheel, roof bars and a body-coloured roof. The Cross can be given a modicum of off-road ability by specifying the optional Advanced Traction Control, which incorporates modes for tackling sand, snow and mud, along with hill-descent control.

All versions of the DS 4 have what its maker describes as "a digital interior". A key feature is 'invisible' air vents, named 'DS AIR' by the brand. It uses compact air vents mounted high up in the cabin, with hidden blades. DS says this removes the need for air vents to be integrated into the dashboard, allowing it to be more flowing and less cluttered. Materials used inside to give a high-end luxury feel include various types of leather, Alcantara, forged carbon and wood.

Interior technology includes an extended head-up display with augmented reality, intended to minimise the amount of time the driver needs to take their eyes off the road. Using an optical illusion, this system will seemingly project information on the road ahead as you look out the windscreen, following your gaze in the process. Information projected will include your current speed, driver-aid indications, navigation directions, warning messages or music track names. The head-up display will also be used for the car's infrared night-vision system.

Advanced driver-assistance technology is also set to feature on the DS 4, with precise lane positioning, semi-automatic overtaking, speed adjustment for corners by the cruise-control system and traffic-sign recognition all possible. All-round radar and a camera at the top of the windscreen will be used to feed data to these systems. The DS 4 will also employ the 'Active Scan Suspension' that has already debuted on the DS 7; this scans the road ahead for bumps and imperfections before preparing the suspension to best deal with them, promising improved comfort on all road types as a result.

As a compact premium plug-in hybrid, the DS 4 E-TENSE will be a direct rival for the likes of the Audi A3 and Q3 TFSI e, Volvo XC40 Recharge, BMW X1 xDrive25e and Mercedes A 250 e and GLA 250 e when it goes on sale.