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DS 9 E-TENSE plug-in hybrid luxury saloon: pictures, specs and on-sale date

Flagship luxury saloon with plug-in hybrid power joins DS 3 and DS 7 as first of four new models from French premium brand

DS 9 E-TENSE

The 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 in 2020, ahead of the cancelled Geneva Motor Show in March.

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. UK order books are set to open in March 2021, with deliveries starting in the third quarter of the year. 

The model line-up will start with a 1.6-litre petrol-electric version with a total power output of 222bhp and a 30-mile electric range, known as the E-TENSE 225. Fuel economy for the 225 version is quoted at up to 188mpg, with official CO2 emissions of 33g/km.

This version will be joined by a 247bhp model with an increased zero-emissions range (called the E-TENSE 250), as well as a flagship four-wheel-drive version with 355bhp called the E-TENSE 4X4 360. This will likely use the same drivetrain as the high-performance 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered from DS' sister brand Peugeot.

For the French market, Performance Line and Rivoli trim levels have been announced, with prices starting at €54,000 (about £48,000) for the latter with the E-TENSE 225 drivetrain and rising to €68,400 (about £60,000) for the Rivoli with the range-topping E-TENSE 4X4 360 engine. Exact UK prices and specs have yet to be confirmed, however.

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 car 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 an hour and 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 Group's new eVMP mechanical platform – allowing for additional pure-electric models to further boost the luxury maker's range.