The Citroen DS 5LS has been shown in Paris to a group of Chinese media, as the brand pushes its ‘Frenchness’ with a C-segment saloon for the world’s biggest market.
The 5LS is the result of Citroen’s splitting of its model line-up into two channels: it’s ‘C’ badged cars for more everyday, price-driven offerings and its more premium, design-centric DS models, which have formed a ‘fully fledged brand’ in China.
Why do we care about a car made for China?
The 5LS is worth a look for UK enthusiasts as ‘a major driver of the DS’s ongoing international development’. It’s built on a stretched version of the PF2 platform that underpins the current DS4 and a raft of Peugeot/Citroen models, and is replaced by the new EMP2 modular platform.
That means it probable won’t make it to Europe, but the 4.7m long saloon is the first Citroen to show off the new DS nose, which is clearly inspired by the Wild Rubis and Numero 9 concepts.
The 5LS’s LED headlamps are pierced by a deep grille, finished in chrome as per DS tradition and Chinese taste. The treatment, dubbed ‘DS Wings’ by someone at Citroen marketing, is headed by a prominent DS badge, and is the face for the saloon’s swooping ‘shark fin’ profile. The bonnet and sides are smoothly segmented, while at the rear are 3D LEDs and neat design touches, such as the integrated ‘one-piece’ chrome garnish across the lower bumper.
What about inside?
You’ll notice the same watch bracelet-style leather seats from existing DS models (equipped with a massage setting), while the rear seats are angled at 29-degrees for more comfort. Teamed with a 2.7m-long wheelbase, there should be loads of rear passenger space (again, a priority in China) in a cabin furnished with high-quality surfaces and materials we’re familiar with in European-market DSs. Up front, there’s a full-colour touchscreen and an air-ioniser, as per the Citroen C4 from last decade (way before the 2013 Mercedes S-class).
Engines and tech?
There will be two petrol engines – the THP 160 and THP 200 – both of which are 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines offered in current DS models. The both have direct fuel injection, twin-scroll turbos and will be fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission. There’s also blind-spot monitoring, reverse parking sensors and a load of safety gadgetry to woo Chinese buyers when the 5LS hits showrooms in March 2014, with pricing yet to be confirmed.