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by Matt Campbell

The DS 7 Crossback, a new nameplate for Citroen’s premium DS brand, has been unveiled ahead of its premiere at the 2017 Geneva motor show later this month.

The all-new DS 7 Crossback is the said to “herald a new era for DS”, with it being “aimed at customers who are in tune with the latest trends, appreciate the world of luxury and prefer to express their unique personality”.

It’s expected to target the likes of the Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q5 in Europe, though we don’t know the exact dimensions of the SUV yet.

It is quite striking to look at, with its angular grille and headlight treatment and bold horizontal bumper line countered by soft lines and curves on the body of the SUV, while the rear – featuring the brand’s “hypnotic 3D tail-lights” – slinks together smoothly. It certainly isn’t easily confused with anything else on the market in the luxury SUV space.

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“At all stages of the design process, the guiding aim for DS 7 Crossback was to express refinement, excellence and the best know-how implemented to the highest standards,” said Thierry Metroz, director of style for DS Automobiles. “The result is there to see, with an ideally proportioned car brimming with personality. It’s a perfect alchemy of strength and style.”

Inside, it is boldly French, with an array of different interior trims shown. There will be four theme choices – Bastille, Rivoli, Opera and Performance Line – which “reflects the brand’s concept of even more personalisation options”. The cabin features two 12.0-inch screens on the dashboard, one for navigation and media, while the second is for the driver, with digital instrumentation that can be customised to suit the individual.

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DS will offer the latest safety and convenience items, including self-parking (reverse or parallel to the kerb, without manual use of the steering wheel or pedals) and semi-autonomous driving technology, with active cruise control with steering assistance and lane keeping assist. There’s also a night vision system that can warn the driver of potential unseen obstacles, multi-mode LED headlights, and a camera that aims to read the road ahead and prep the car’s suspension for bumps and lumps.

Getting back to it being in tune with the latest trends, the DS 7 Crossback is powered by the company’s E-Tense plug-in hybrid drivetrain consisting of a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 150kW of power teamed to a pair of electric motors (each with 80kW of power, or a combined output of 90kW – one for the front wheels, one for the rears). Electric power is stored in a 13kW/h lithium-ion battery pack. The all-wheel-drive SUV’s drivetrain makes use of an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

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All told, DS claims the drivetrain is capable of about 225kW of power, while its electric range is claimed at 37 miles (60km). Charging is said to take 4.5 hours on a standard European plug, while fast-charging is set at 2.5 hours from a 32Amp outlet.

That won’t be the only drivetrain offered: three petrol engines in differing states of tune, two with eight-speed auto gearboxes (150kW and 135kW), one with a six-speed manual (97kW); and two diesels with different power outputs, one with the choice of manual or automatic (with 97kW), and the other with more grunt and a standard auto (with 135kW). No torque figures have been released.

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There’s a special high-spec launch edition, La Premiere, as seen in the grey finish here.

Australia

CarAdvice has contacted DS Australia to see if the brand is considering launching the DS 7 Crossback locally. It would appear this could be the shot in the arm the company needs if it wants to compete in the luxury segment in Australia.

UPDATE: The brand has confirmed “the DS 7 is under study as part of the entire DS brand roll out for Australia – as such the model is not yet confirmed for the Australian market”. DS is still sold under the Citroen banner here, and despite other markets having separated the two brands, the company hasn’t done so locally.

DS has been through a bad patch locally in recent times, with only 77 cars sold across the DS 3, DS 4 and DS 5 ranges in 2016 – a drop of 58 per cent on its 2015 sales.

MORE: DS news, reviews and comparisons




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