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Citroen’s luxury arm DS has released a limited-run of the new DS 4 Crossback in Australia, making it the French brand’s first SUV model locally.

First unveiled just before last year’s Frankfurt motor show, the 2016 DS 4 Crossback takes the place of the regular DS 4 hatchback in the Australian lineup, although in other markets the two models will be sold side-by-side.

Limited to an initial run of just 25 units, the DS 4 Crossback arrives in a single $46,990 specification marking a $6500 premium over the regular DS 4.

The Crossback is pitched by DS as a ‘high-riding coupe’, distinguished outside by a 30mm raised ride height over the regular DS 4, full-LED headlamps with daytime-running lights, grey roof rails, black wheel arch cladding and a rear spoiler.

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Inside, the DS 4 Crossback comes standard with a new 7.0-inch colour touchscreen that includes satellite navigation, digital radio and, for the first time for the DS brand locally, Apple CarPlay. Other interior appointments include dual-zone climate control, leather seat trim, massaging front seats and keyless entry and start.

A comprehensive suite of safety features including blind-spot monitoring, rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors, LED foglamps with cornering function and six airbags are fitted as standard.

The DS 4 Crossback is available in Australia with only one engine choice, an all new Euro-6 compliant 2.0-litre four-cylinder BlueHdi turbo diesel engine, producing 133kW of power and 400Nm of torque, up 13kW and 60Nm from the previous DS 4’s Euro-5 engine.

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The new powerplant is exclusively matched to a revised six-speed Aisin automatic transmission, helping the pairing to be half a litre more efficient on the combined cycle (4.3L/100km), while also achieving a 0-100km/h time of 8.6 seconds, 0.7sec quicker than the outgoing drivetrain.

Kai Bruesewitz, general manager of DS Australia, said the limited-run SUV sets a new beginning for premium French vehicles in the Australian market.

“We believe the DS 4 will appeal to those customers looking to stand out from the crowd,” he said.

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“The DS 4 is a step towards an all-new line of vehicles that capture the best in French design, quality and innovation.

“The evolution of the DS marque in Australia will take some time and will be led by product, with the first all-new DS vehicle launching in the coming years,” he added.

CarAdvice spoke to Citroen communications manager, Tyson Bowen, and we can confirm that the regular DS 4 hatchback will not be made available alongside the high-riding Crossback version. However, if the response is solid, the limited run of 25 units could increase to a much larger figure.

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“We’re just taking small steps,” said Bowen, “if there is a solid response, we can turn the tap back on really quickly.”

When asked about the availability of Apple CarPlay on the rest of the DS and Citroen range, Bowen said that once it is available to the local arm, “we will make it available”. Citroen has added CarPlay to the Berlingo van by way of an aftermarket Pioneer stereo system.

The DS 4 may be more of a crossover than an SUV, it will be the brand’s first foray in Australia’s booming SUV market. And while the only DS SUV currently on sale globally is the China-only DS 6WR, Bowen said that the “SUV market in Australia is a massive opportunity”, and that this segment is one that DS “would like to have an offering when a model becomes available”.

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Continuing the DS brand’s rollout in Australia will be the facelifted DS3 hatchback (pictured above), which Bowen says is due for launch in the last quarter of this year.

The limited-run DS 4 Crossback is available now from $46,990 driveaway, which includes Citroen’s six-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.

Available in six exterior colours, the only cost options for the DS 4 Crossback are the five metallic paint options ($800) and an upgrade to 18-inch ‘Brisbane’ alloy wheels ($1000).

MORE: DS 4 news and reviews
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