You are here
DS is plotting four new cars by 2020
An SUV and more hot hatches are on the way for Citroen’s posh, luxury-focused offshoot…
Things have been a bit quiet on Planet DS of late. After it arrived as a Citroen-badged sub-brand in 2009 with the pretty, Mini-bothering DS3, it’s given us the nondescript DS4 tall hatch, the willfully mad DS5, and latterly broke away from Citroen to become its own brand.
The latest thing DS has launched isn’t a car, but a shop. Sort of. TG.com popped along to the opening of the world’s first DS Urban Store in London’s Shepherd’s Bush, which is a bijou boutiquey place where you can spend £33 on a leather DS keyring, twice that on a die-cast model of a DS3, but more interestingly, spec a DS using virtual realty headsets, then test-drive and even order one. It’s car sales without the car salesman or the showroom. A fun retail experience for the well-heeled Londoners DS wants to target. But TG.com is more interested in actual cars. Not branded stationery.
DS Sales & Marketing Director Arnaud Ribault bristles slightly at the suggestion that DS made a big noise casting off from the mothership in 2014 and has done little since. “It is a lot of work to launch a new car brand, you know”, he smiles. “Also we have been very busy in China, where sales are very good. Our average customer is just 31 years old, which is extremely young, which is good news for us.”
So, what about the new cars? “You will see our new car at the Geneva show”, Ribault says. He confirms it’ll be an SUV based on the underpinnings of the new Peugeot 3008 (no bad thing, though DS will have to go some to trump that interior) and will also spearhead the introduction of plug-in hybrid technology and all-wheel drive into the PSA Peugeot-Citroen family. “We will never offer a car with mechanical all-wheel drive”, Ribault says. “For us, engine driving the front and an electric motor giving all the torque at the rear is the solution.”
Eventually, DS wants to offer plug-in drivetrains in all its cars, with the familiar DS 3, DS 4 and DS 5 all up for replacement between now and 2020. It’s the logical step for the premium offshoot to beckon in more expensive PHEV options, before the tech trickles down to more workaday Citroens and Peugeots.
And what of the DS 3 Performance, and future DS hot hatches? Ribault is happy to confirm that Performance has a future at DS, but doesn’t commit to saying which cars will get the go-faster treatment. With a Seat Ateca Cupra and VW Tiguan R on the way though, is a fast French crossover too difficult to imagine?