DS 7

01 DS 7 E Tense 4x4 360 2023 RT lead driving front
Stellantis luxury brand adds performance range-topper to facelifted SUV

Until batteries become sufficiently advanced to provide decent stamina and energy density, it looks like the way forward for the performance car is plug-in hybrid technology.The Mercedes-AMG C63 is swapping its V8 for a PHEV four-cylinder, the BMW XM sticks with a V8 but adds 29.5kWh of batteries, the next M5 is likely to do the same, the fastest Porsche Panamera you can buy is the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, and the Ferrari 296, McLaren Artura and Lamborghini Revuelto also use rechargeable batteries and motors to augment their piston engines.In the slightly less rarefied sphere, Stellantis has had much the same idea for the past few years. It started with the Peugeot 508 PSE, whose engine and motor combination made the prospect of a 350bhp Peugeot a reality. The idea is not just to produce lots of power, but also to ensure that you’re not out of pocket on taxes if you want to run something a bit interesting as a company car.The next step in that strategy involves the DS Automobiles luxury brand, which has come up with the DS 7 E-Tense 4×4 360. The DS 7 has been facelifted as well as gaining this new performance version, so let’s see if it can solve some of the outgoing car’s issues, and successfully marry a degree of sportiness with DS’s promise of refinement.Range at a glanceAlong with the Crossback name, the DS 7 lost all but one of its non-electrified powertrains. Only the 1.5-litre diesel remains, for ultra-high-mileage drivers. The rest of the range consists of different versions of Stellantis’s familiar 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid powertrain.In the UK, the trim level structure kicks off with Performance Line, but to get either of the four-wheel-drive versions, you will need to upgrade to Performance Line+. Above that sit Rivoli and the parallel Opera and Esprit de Voyage. Our test car is the launch-edition La Première.VersionpowerDS 7 BlueHDI 130129bhpDS 7 E-Tense 225224bhpDS 7 E-Tense 4×4 300296bhpDS 7 E-Tense 4×4 360*355bhp*Version tested 
Source: Autocar

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