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Groupe PSA future models analysis - DS Automobiles

By Mike Vousden | 19 June 2018

DS 7 Crossback is an attempt to take on the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Range Rover Evoque and other models in the C segment.

DS 7 Crossback is an attempt to take on the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Range Rover Evoque and other models in the C segment.

This chapter of our analysis series of the divisions of Groupe PSA covers DS Automobiles. It is the third of four features and follows examinations of the future models strategy of Peugeot and Citroën.

B segment

The DS 3 has been DS' biggest success story. This three-door hatchback made a good impression when it went on sale in 2010 because, unlike the Mini and Fiat 500 with which it competed, it didn't rely on deliberately retro styling to look eye catching, instead leaning on modern design to tempt buyers. It received a modest update in 2014 before a facelift in 2016, and is expected to continue in production until early 2019, when a replacement is due. This will be a crossover and the public will see this model for the first time at the Paris motor show in October.

The DS 3 is built on the same PSA PF1 platform that's underpinned models including the Citroen C3 and the Peugeot 207. It was among the first vehicles to be fitted with PSA's range of turbocharged PureTech gasoline engines. Production takes place at the Poissy plant in France plant alongside the Peugeot 208.

C segment

Move up a segment and you find the soon to vanish DS 4S. European buyers won't recognise this model because it's only sold in China. While its nameplate might be unfamiliar, the underpinnings are shared with the Peugeot 308 hatchback along with a number of the same turbocharged engines – Chinese buyers are offered an automatic transmission only, however.

Under the skin lies the group's EMP2 platform that forms the basis of the aforementioned 308 as well as many other models including the 3008, 5008 and Opel Grandland X. Production began in Shenzhen in 2016 but, after posting less-than-impressive sales figures, looks like it will be wound up as soon: sales in May totalled just 12 cars.

Groupe PSA is understandably touchy about the performance of DS, especially in China where a vast amount of money and effort was expended on its installation. For this reason, there is no official word on when various failed models will stop being built. It might even be that production of the 4S and other cars has already stopped.

D segment

Staying in Asia, the DS 5LS is another China-only model. It sits in the D segment but, despite the naming similarity between the DS 5LS and the discontinued DS 5, it actually shares more with the Citroen C4 sedan previously offered in China. As such, it's based on the PSA PF2 platform that also featured under the Peugeot 307 and the discontinued DS 4.

It's been built at the Shenzhen factory since 2014. The same plant makes the newly introduced DS 7 Crossback. The DS 5LS was originally intended to continue production until 2021 but, considering its sales haven't hit the levels PSA was hoping for - just 15 units in May - it seems that production has likely already ended.

E segment

On the horizon is the DS 9 – DS' first meaningful attempt at a production luxury car. With PSA having previously burned its fingers with larger cars in Europe, this model is instead predominantly aimed at the Chinese market – although, models could be exported to Europe later on. As such, it's expected to be built in Shenzhen from second half of 2019 – a facelift should follow in 2023 before the model goes off sale in 2026.

Under the bodywork, the tentatively named 8 will share much with the Chinese-market Citroen C6 launched in 2016. That means it will be based on a stretched version of the EMP2 platform. There is still some confusion over this model's name, with some predicting it'll be called DS 8 and others leaning towards DS 9. The CAPSA joint venture will be aiming the car at the Volvo S90, Jaguar XFL, Audi A6 L, BMW 5 Series L and Mercedes-Benz E-Class L and hoping that prospects will think of it as a true rival for these big sedans.

SUVs and crossovers

Aiming to boost the brand's family of crossovers is the upcoming DS 3 Crossback. Targeting the hotly contested compact crossover market, this model will sit in the B segment. It's predicted to be built in Poissy from 2019, facelifted in 2022 and carry on until early 2026 when a new model will be launched.

This successor for the DS 3 three-door and DS 3 Cabriolet be based on CMP, a low-cost small car architecture developed by PSA and Dongfeng Motor. The next Opel Corsa will also use CMP. That makes it highly likely that the DS 3 Crossback and new Corsa will share PSA's range of turbocharged PureTech gasoline engines. Additionally, a version of the platform dubbed e-CMP will be designed to accept an electric powertrain making it likely we'll see an electric version of the DS 3 Crossback, possibly called the E-Tense.

A potentially larger, unconfirmed model is the DS 5 Crossback. The brand has announced its intention to build a vehicle based on the EMP2 platform in France at the Mulhouse factory from late 2018, but hasn't confirmed what this would be. A likely candidate would be a DS 5 Crossback – crossover positioned below the DS 7 Crossback. Due to the 7 Crossback being 4,570mm long, any possible DS 5 Crossback would have to be around 4.3-4.4m in length. This suggests that perhaps only odd numbers will be from now on used for DS models.

If it is confirmed, the DS 5 would start production probably in the fourth quarter of 2018, be facelifted in 2022 and carry on until the end of production some time in 2025. The Mulhouse plant it would be built in has recently had a EUR400m upgrade and moved its smaller models to one production line, freeing up a second for PSA's C and D-segment cars.

Yet another Asian-market crossover comes in the form of the DS 6. This model has been on sale since 2014 and was built in Shenzhen on the PSA PF2 platform mentioned above. Its design was previewed to the public by the Wild Rubis concept car. This featured a plug-in-hybrid powertrain for low emissions and around 225hp. Production cars, however, stuck with a conventional 1.6-litre turbo gasoline engine with either 160 or 200hp and a six-speed automatic transmission. Despite its styling and design, it wasn't a hit: May registrations amounted to only four cars and production is presumed to have ended.

The largest, newest model in the DS range is the DS 7 Crossback. It's based on a version of the EMP2 platform that underpins the Peugeot 3008 and Opel Grandland X, and is the most luxurious of the three. Production began in 2017 and is shared across PSA's Mulhouse and Shenzhen factories to supply Europe and China respectively. A facelift could arrive in 2021 and carry on until the model's likely replacement in 2024.

A range of gasoline and diesel engines is offered from the firm's PureTech 1.2-litre turbo unit to a 2.0-litre turbodiesel mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A plug-in hybrid model called the E-Tense will be added in 2019. This will blend a 1.6-litre turbo gasoline engine with two electric motors and a 13kWh battery pack. Despite putting out around 300hp, WLTP testing puts the E-Tense's CO2 emissions at an impressively low 40g/km.

At the moment, Groupe PSA seems to be trying to rebuild DS with crossovers. This process started with the DS 7 Crossback and the 3 Crossback will be added in early 2019. Then comes e-Tense plug-in petrol electric variants of both. If these models are successful - the 7 is finally starting to find some volume in Europe and Chinese build is now underway too - then it's possible that there could be an attempt to compete with the Jaguar F-Pace. This 'DS 9 Crossback' would therefore be around 4.8m long, supplementing the 4,570mm DS 7. As noted above, any potential 5 Crossback would have to be sized around 4.3-4.4m.

Should a DS 9 Crossback be approved for development and production, it would likely be built only in China, and by the CAPSA joint venture. There would also be a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid, and that should wear DS 9 Crossback e-Tense badges.

This was the third feature in a four-part series. The final chapter will be a look at Opel and Vauxhall.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

More detail on the past, current and forthcoming models for every division of Groupe PSA can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of QUBE.