DS to launch high-riding electric luxury saloon

DS EV winter testing front quarter

New fastback is one of two new DS models that will be built at Stellantis plant in Melfi, Italy

DS 9 saloon replacement is fastback EV set to feature a 400-plus-mile range and unconventional interior

DS is preparing to launch a brand new flagship electric car to begin a new era of it selling only plug-in hybrids and EVs.

Spotted winter testing ahead of its launch in early 2025, the DS 9 replacement wears a high-riding fastback body, similar to fellow Stellantis brand Peugeot’s new e-3008 crossover.

Its roofline is more rakish than that of the future-looking Aero Sport Lounge concept, which was described by DS design chief Thierry Métroz as “a prelude to our next creations” and a “manifesto” for more sustainable luxury cars.

It’s expected to be the first of two new DS models entering production at Stellantis’s factory in Melfi, Italy, 2025 and will be twinned with the successor to the Vauxhall Insignia.

All models being produced at Melfi will use the STLA Medium platform, which made its debut under the e-3008. This provides a strong hint at the specifications of the new DS EV.

The platform is for cars between 4.3m and 4.9m long, meaning it could underpin the replacements for every model in the DS line-up bar the DS 3, which would have to use the STLA Small architecture.

DS EV prototype front

STLA Medium allows for EV power outputs between 215bhp and 382bhp, utilising either a single motor mounted at the front or a motor on each axle (providing four-wheel drive).

Currently it offers battery capacities of up to 98kWh, yielding up to 435 miles of range. The e-3008 also offers a 73kWh (usable capacity) pack that delivers 326 miles between charges.

However, these figures are subject to change, as energy density improves with developments such as new battery chemistries.

Energy efficiency, rather than outright performance, will doubtless be the priority for the new DS.

Former DS CEO Béatrice Foucher previously told Autocar that the silhouette of this next model, striking a compromise between a hatchback and an SUV, was meant to “provide the best energy management”.

She added that it would have an “eye-catching” interior, drawing on the MI 21 concept unveiled in June 2023.

DS MI 21 interior concept

Initially designed as an internal experiment and seen privately by Autocar before DS executives decided to test the waters with the public, the MI 21 was inspired by the art deco movement.

It features a litany of novel design features. The doorcards and seats, for example, are made from pleated pieces of a silk-like textile. A single large speaker is placed in the footwell between the driver and the passenger, reducing the amount of wiring needed for the stereo and therefore improving sustainability.

The infotainment system and instrument panel aren’t displayed on screens but are instead projected across a large glass panel by three small nodes in the dashboard. This projection system has two focal lengths that allow the driver to focus on the instruments and blur whatever their passenger is doing (watching a film, for example) and vice versa.

These functions were controlled using physical gestures detected via ultrasonic sensors on a glass panel on the centre console, as well as voice commands.

DS MI 21 glass gesture pad/

Autocar has contacted DS for comment on the new spy shots of its forthcoming fastback EV.

Regardless of the form it takes when it enters production, the next DS model is instrumental to the French premium brand’s future.

It has quietly toiled away in Stellantis’s 14-brand portfolio, recording very few sales. Its UK market share shrunk from 0.23% in 2022 to 0.13% in 2023, while Mercedes-Benz took a 4.57% share, BMW took 5.75% and Audi took 7.26%.

Foucher was replaced as DS CEO last July by Fiat and Abarth boss Olivier François.

Source: Autocar

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