We were really captivated by the stunning looks of Citroen’s DS9 concept, in fact so much so that I had to tweet a few pictures of it late last night. Due to be unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show later in the month, the DS9 is Citroen’s fourth ‘Déesse’ (goddess) model and the first that really lives up to its name.
Citroen say that the DS9 concept signals the styling cues of the next three DS line models: a C-segment premium sedan, an SUV and a D-segment executive saloon, which sounds like it might never reach production in its current form. I do hope that’s not the case – it looks just right as it is.
Underneath the skin, DS9 is powered by plug-in full-hybrid technology, using a 1.6-litre THP petrol engine developing 222bhp (275Nm of torque) with an electric motor on the rear axle adding a further 69bhp (200Nm of torque) – for a total of 291bhp (475Nm/350lb-ft of torque).
The electric motor is powered by lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged in just 3½ hours from a normal domestic socket and the DS9 can cover just over 30 miles on ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mode alone. Fuel emissions and economy are just as dramatic as its looks, with a quite outstanding 166mpg over the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of just 39g/km.
Designed in Paris (but of course!), DS9 sits on a 3-metre wheelbase and is 4.93m long and 1.94m wide. At just 1.27m tall, it looks like it’s just driven off the set of the latest Batman film, further underlined by those 21-inch wheels (running 245/35 ZR Michelin tyres).
In stop-start traffic, the hybrid drivetrain limits consumption by using both sources of energy, whilst on the motorway, the combustion engine takes over and delves into the DS9’s reserves to deliver a more impressive performance. A ‘boost’ function combines the power of the combustion engine and electric motor to achieve 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds and the standing kilometre in 25.3 seconds. The DS9 is good for a top speed of 152mph.
DS9 employs a partial 4WD drivetrain. When grip is lacking, the car switches to four-wheel drive mode with the electric motor driving the rear wheels and the combustion engine powering the front wheels.
Whilst in difficult driving conditions, such as driving up a sloping, snow-covered road, the driver can manually select 4WD mode. The four-wheel drive system and hydraulic active suspension then deliver increased traction, making full use of the DS9’s potential in complete safety.
Citroen will launch its complete DS line (DS3, DS4 and DS5) in China during 2012, but it’s the DS9 that will be seducing visitors at Beijing later this month.