Before you can launch a serious attack on life or business you need a leader, which is why the UK team looking to establish a foothold for Stellantis’ luxury DS brand in this country is keen ( and somewhat relieved) to launch their flagship DS 9 model, expected in showrooms in September.
This is an E-segment four-seater sedan, sized and wedged against the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. Although UK DS boss Jules Tilstone does not claim to match these majors in volume (success will be measured “in the hundreds”, he says), the new model undoubtedly brings better shape to the entire line-up. DS range, which will now consist of four models (DS 3, 4, 7 Crossback and 9), and refines the brand’s offer in terms of luxury, quality materials, classy customer service and craftsmanship French-style.
Although DS has not done well in this country so far, its recently arrived 9 and 4 herald a new determination to grow in the UK, a market that spends generously on premium cars.
A current total of 28 UK retailers have been established, and more are planned. And in addition to trying to offer top-notch customer service, DS intends to capitalize on its relevance to modern conditions: all models are already available in electrified form, 30% of 2020 customers have chosen an electrified car and DS’s CO2 fleet average last year was just 83.1g / km, a figure many rivals would die for.
The customer service offering also seems real. Buyers can specify cars using virtual reality gadgets, rent cars in a variety of ways, choose to pick up their DS at home or at the office for maintenance, attend privileged events (Harvey Nichols stores, trips to Kew Gardens, Pastry Schools) and are very likely to be offered special access to the next Formula E race in London (July 24-25, Excel Center). Against more well-known names in motorsport, DS has won the Formula E championships for the past two years.
The 9 is a large car, similar in main dimensions to its rivals in the A6 and 5 series, with an overall length of 4.93 m. It is built on the largest version to date of Stellantis’ EMP2 architecture, offering a generous 2900mm wheelbase, the main effects of which are to smooth ride quality, increase rear knee room (class better) and improve the size of the rear doors, which offer better access than many low-roof rivals.
The car uses a predominantly steel monocoque structure with a transverse front-wheel drive powertrain – in the case of our test car, a 178 hp 1.6-liter direct injection four-cylinder turbo petrol engine assisted by an electric motor. of 110 hp. An 11.9 kWh battery is carried under the rear seats, providing a claimed range of 34 miles in electric mode.
There are two finishes: Rivoli +, whose all-leather emphasis is mainly on luxury, and the slightly cheaper but still plush Performance Line + with an Alcantara interior. A choice of three powertrains is offered with each: a petrol 225 configuration, an E-Tense 225 PHEV and, coming soon, a 360 E-Tense 4×4. Our test car was a front-wheel drive E-Tense 225 PHEV Rivoli +.
Prices currently range between £ 40,000 and £ 50,000 (our car costs £ 49,200), but there is a chance to pay more for an Opera interior which offers “watch band” nappa leather for its seats and fascia. . And the next 360 4×4 will cost well in the territory of £ 50,000. Even so, for size and equipment, the car compares well to its rivals, especially since its Chinese-built quality appears on initial inspection to be a good match for that of the Germans and the Japanese.
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This notice was published: 2021-06-01 09:10:16