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Zut alors! Doesn’t Citroen’s four-door Numero 9 concept, which was teased last month, look smashing?

These pictures of the French manufacturer’s hybrid-powered wagon have been delivered ahead of the N9’s debut at the upcoming 2012 Beijing motor show, hinting that Citroen’s DS sub-brand is about to get itself a new flagship. And we really, really hope it looks this good.

The styling flagellation begins with 21-inch wheels and ends just 1.27m later with a glass roof. But its massive 1.94m width and 4.9m length - only 1.79cm shorter than an S-Class - leave plenty of room to showcase that front-end. Citroen says: “It introduces the new identity of future models, along with an original light signature. The concept signals the styling cues of the next three DS line models: a premium sedan, an SUV and an executive saloon.”

Underneath the 1500kg shell, there’s full plug-in full-hybrid tech, which Citroen thinks will esteem to 166mpg, 50km all-electric range, 295hp, and 39g/km of CO2. There’s also a deliciously Turbo Outrun-sounding ‘boost’ function, which combines the power of the combustion engine and electric motor, dispatching all 295 horsepowers at once. This means 0-62mph takes 5.4 seconds and it’ll travel a 1,000m in 25.3 seconds from a standing start.

The drivetrain mashes a normal FWD combustion engine together with an electric motor - rechargeable in 3.5 hours, fact fans - on the rear axle that develops 70hp and 200 torques. If the car reckons you’re prodding the edge of adhesion, it switches itself to four-wheel-drive mode, which you can also summon manually. Which sounds useful.

So, providing this forms the basis for a DS9, will the UK be flooded with ‘em? Err, no. This is, resolutely, a proposition aimed at the Chinese market. Firstly, enormous, thrifty Euro saloons are flying out of dealerships out there. Secondly, Blighty reserves its Gallic purchases largely for hatchbacks and MPVs, not wobbly saloons. Guess how many C6s sold here last year?





Would you be more inclined if it looked like this, TopGear.commers?

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