IT’S less than two years since DS became a separate brand within PSA, positioned above both Citroen and Peugeot, and now we’re starting to see the scale of the French company’s ambition for its upmarket subsidiary with the new DS7 Crossback, set to be officially unveiled at next week’s Geneva Motor Show.
DS is already selling a DS6 crossover in China, but the DS7 is an all-French affair that’s been designed to compete with premium European offerings. It certainly looks the part with a marked resemblance to a Lexus RX at the front, and a very good impression of an Audi Q5 down the back – with a very similar full-width liftback featuring integrated tail-lights. The cabin features a 12-inch central touchscreen and digital instruments as well as power-operated recline on the rear seats. Fit and finish feels good, with stitched leather dashboard and door panels on the cars we saw.
The DS7 is less radical under the surface, sitting on PSA’s EMP2 modular architecture and with power coming from a range of usual suspects. Three petrol engines will be offered in Europe from launch; a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-pot with 95 kW and then two 1.6-litre turbo fours in 133kW and 170kW outputs. There will be two diesels, a new ultra-frugal 95kW 1.5-litre unit and a 133kW 2.0-litre. All barring the base engines will get an eight-speed auto as standard.
All-wheel drive won’t be offered until later, and then only with the forthcoming hybrid powertrain. PSA engineers confirmed there are no plans to offer an all-paw DS7 with a conventional mechanical system; the hybrid will have two 80kW electric motors – one on the rear axle – working with a 1.6 petrol turbo to produce a claimed total output of 222kW.
Tech highlights will include an optional “Active Scan” suspension system that will use a high-mounted camera to read the approaching road surface and pre-set the stiffness of the variable dampers for bumps, in essence a very similar system to Mercedes’s Magic Body Control. Higher-spec versions will also get active LED headlights featuring moving elements that can give five different lighting modes and also turn the DS7’s beams into corners.
European deliveries are confirmed for early 2018; we’ll bring you more on Australian pricing and dates when we have it.