To boldly roll: new DS 9 flagship revealed

Published: 24 February 2020

► Range-topping saloon
► Big style inside
► Hybrid e-Tense comes first

You’re looking at the new DS 9, a Titanic-sized flagship that promises to shame its German with some serious Gallic comfort. It’s not the most innovative car on the outside, but jump in and you’ll find a stylish interior with electrified power under your foot. 

‘Since the launch of new brand DS in 2015, one goal excited our team: being able to offer a large French saloon,’ said DS CEO Béatrice Foucher. ‘Our ambition to embody French luxury expertise in a car led to the arrival of a new benchmark in the premium saloon segment, and this desire to convey French culture through a car is translated today into DS 9.’

It’s big on the outside

There are some nice styling touches on the outside including the theatrical LED headlights upfront, Z-shape DRLs at the front and speckled rear light cluster continue DS’s family look.A nice nod to the car’s (named) heritage are the high-mounted rear indicators, just like a 1955 Citroen DS. But most obvious feature of the DS 9 is its cruise liner size.

At 4930mm long and 1850 wide, the DS 9 runs on 690mm wheels, and is almost identical in size to the current BMW 5 Series. Silhouette-wise it’s what you’d expect from a three-box, executive flagship saloon, but with a rear-raked window bang on trend with the current fastback style. One nice touch is a ‘Clous de Paris’ sabre, adding some detail to the acres of bonnet on show. 

It’s clearly based on the Chinese-market version of the Peugeot 508, which has a longer wheelbase than the European version for maximum rear legroom. What’s not clear from the images is whether it’s a saloon with separate bootlid or a 508-style lift-up tailgate. We suspect the latter, but won’t find out for a little while longer.

It’s original on the inside

If the DS 9 looks PSA-generic from the outside, it’s anything but inside. Both the driver and passenger are enveloped in the same unique style we’ve seen elsewhere in the DS range – although this time things have been turned up to 11. Expect lots of angles, origami-style design cues and everything else covered in Nappa leather.  

DS has managed to squeeze in all the safety tech you’d expect from a range-topping saloon, too. The DS 9 comes with autonomous parking, a night vision mode as well as driver attention monitoring. Level 2 autonomous tech is also included. 

Hybrid engines to begin with

The DS 9 will debut as a plug-in hybrid with a combined 222bhp. 108bhp of that comes from an 11.9kWh operated electric motor while the rest comes from a turbocharged petrol engine, and it’s all mated to an eight-cog box. The hybrid has a standalone EV range of between 25 and 31 miles and is limited to an impressive 84mph – more than enough for UK motorways.  

After that, there’ll be a 247bhp hybrid longer range, and following that, a 355bhp hybrid with four-wheel drive. DS says there’ll be a 222bhp petrol only version, for those not ready to electrify just yet.   

We’ll update this article when we know more. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast