Introducing the DS 9: The new luxury saloon from France

SUVs may remain a popular choice for many, but there’s still a place for sleek and stylish saloons. The new DS 9 is one of these, thanks to its impressive eco credentials, quality build, high tech features and distinctive looks.

Elegant with a streamlined silhouette, the DS 9 has plenty of kerb appeal and many would say is more striking than other models in its class. A saloon with personality, it showcases DS Automobiles’ innovative design language, including features such as DS wings and the ‘Clous de Paris’ sabre on the bonnet. With a nod to the original 1955 DS, the DS 9 also has cone shapes at the outside edges of the roof. Inspired by the legendary saloon, the cones have been reformed to house brand new tail lights, signalling DS 9’s presence.

Slip inside and the distinctive DS design features continue. Quality materials are evident throughout – from the Nappa Leather dash and the watchstrap design of the seats, to the crystal-shaped touch-sensitive buttons and door handles that are wrapped by hand in leather invite you to touch and appreciate or feel them.

The cabin is exceptionally spacious for a saloon – including for passengers in the rear, thanks to its long 2.90 metre wheelbase. Seats are heated, cooled and massaging, a first in the class. The central armrest plays a part in the overall comfort, boasting features from segments above such as leather upholstery, storage areas with built-in USB ports, controls for the massaging seats and multi-coloured welcome lighting. DS 9 gives new meaning to individual comfort where each setting can be adjusted.

This first-class comfort is also demonstrated through the personalisation of ‘DS Inspirations’. Each interior theme, named after famous quarters in Paris, has its own character with seats in leather or Alcantara. The attention paid to each detail gives a wealth of possibility with the grained leather seats of DS Inspiration Bastille or DS Inspiration Rivoli, DS Inspiration Performance Line’s black Alcantara and the Art Rubis Nappa leather of the DS Inspiration Opera with its iconic watchstrap design. This range-topping signature is also offered with adjustable, multi-coloured ambient lighting with eight colour shades designed to give a cosy atmosphere and a steering wheel that’s completely covered in Art Rubis leather.

Power wise, at launch, the DS 9 will be offered with a new E-Tense plug-in hybrid powertrain comprising a PureTech turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor combined to deploy 225hp and capable of travelling between 25 and 31 miles in zero emissions (WLTP) mode courtesy of an 11.9kWh battery.

The electric motor, through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, can deploy maximum power of 80kW (110hp) and 320Nm. It is used for driving off from a standstill, boosting acceleration at any speed and for driving in zero emissions mode up to 84mph. Electric mode is always automatically selected on start-up to maximise efficiency. It is complemented by a Hybrid mode, designed to automatically control the different types of energy by driving 100% electric, 100% petrol or combining the two if the situation requires it.

An E-Tense Sport mode gets the most out of the available power from the combined application of the combustion engine and electric motor by adjusting the mapping of the accelerator pedal, gearbox, steering and active suspension. It intensifies driver enjoyment and dynamics all with complete peace of mind.

The DS 9 uses an energy recovery system that re-charges the battery in deceleration or brake phases, amplified with an enhanced braking function selected by pulling back the gear selector and displayed as ‘B’. In addition, an E-Save function guarantees there’s always selected levels of battery-stored energy to do chosen parts of the journey in Zero Emissions mode (one of several levels available), for example when the driver knows they will be going into LEV areas or town centres. The 7.4kW on-board charger enables the battery to be charged in 1hr 30minutes from home or public charging points using the cable supplied as standard.

Following this, the line-up will be topped by two more E-TENSE power units – the first with 250hp, 2-wheel drive plus increased range capability, and the second – a 360hp with an intelligent 4-wheel drive transmission. A 225hp solely PureTech petrol engine model will also be available. All models are equipped with a smooth and fast-changing eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The DS 9 is incredibly tech rich. A key highlight is DS Active Scan Suspension – a camera scans the road, level sensors, accelerometers and drivetrain sensors record every movement and the system prepares the damping of each wheel for road imperfections in order to improve safety, serenity and provides ride comfort without equal. This 21st Century DS suspension combines the hushed comfort of a prestigious saloon with the dynamics of a Grand Touring coupé.

A very clever DS Drive Assist system is included too and enables the driver to enjoy semi-autonomous driving which lets them cover distances in the greatest comfort with improved levels of safety. Speed is controlled according to the surroundings of DS 9. The system uses multiple sensors to position DS 9 precisely in its lane depending on where the driver decides by it controlling the steering trajectory. Usable up to 111mph depending on the country’s laws, it controls speed and direction, under the driver’s supervision, in order to guarantee safety and peace of mind.

The DS Drive Assist camera recognises broken and continuous lines. While driving, it’s constantly analysing the situation and interpreting best actions to apply. It enables the car to stay in its lane, even in the area of the lane that the driver wants. If the driver wishes to re-take control of the steering, taking a firm hold of the steering wheel will override the system. It is also interrupted if the indicators are used, e.g. for lane changes.

Another highlight is DS Park Pilot which can detect a parking place by passing it at speeds up to 16mph. The driver then indicates on their touchscreen that they want to park, parallel or into a bay. And there’s just one thing to do: keep the Park button pressed and wait for the technology to get to work. Acceleration, braking and steering are automatically controlled during either entry or exit of the parking place. Releasing the button halts the movement.