Since flourishing into a stand-alone brand after flying the Citroën nest, DS has intricately woven a reputation as a major player in the premium sector. Successive releases in recent years such as the DS 4 and DS 5 have really hit the mark with the more discerning of customers. Now, the Paris-based stable is applying its savoir-faire in the luxury arena to an as-yet un-tapped area of the market. Primed for launch at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, here are the first pictures of the DS 7 Crossback – the firm’s maiden fully-fledged SUV.
So, the question is this; should the posse of luxury SUVs from Germany and their contempories at Lexus, Infiniti and Jaguar lose sleep over the new French kid on the block? If the sheer attention to detail evident in DS sources is anything to go by, we think the established crowd should sit up and take note.
For starters, the new DS 7 Crossback hybrid power option suggests that the aforementioned big-hitters aren’t the only SUV purveyors in DS’ sights. Tesla, and specifically its trail-blazing Model X, may also find itself in a trans-Atlantic tussle with the French marque in the not too distant future. The drivetrain in question is DS’s new E-TENSE plug-in hybrid unit. Although not available straight from launch, customers will eventually be able to opt for this potent and efficient combination of a 200bhp petrol engine and dual electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery. In all, overall output hits the 300bhp mark. The DS 7 Crossback hybrid, as with its petrol and diesel derivatives, comes with 4WD as standard. In terms of range, DS sources quote in the region of 37 miles under electric power alone, with charging time cut from the standard 4½ to 2½hours when hooked up to a 6.6kW fast-charger.
As previously alluded to, the new DS 7 Crossback can boast both petrol and diesel alternatives in its ample engine room armoury. The range comprises of three purely petrol powertrains and a pair of diesel units. The vast majority of these possess a latest-generation 8-speed gearbox, with only the smallest engines in the line-up getting the option of a 6-speed manual instead.
In design terms, the DS 7 Crossback follows in the footsteps of its more compact siblings. Jacking familiar DS architecture up a notch, the Crossback’s front-end is dominated by a wide mesh grille and V-shape chrome trim around the LED headlamps. The sharp lines around the front wing are reflected at the rear, where a wraparound tailgate joins distinctive rear lights with scrolling directional indicators.
Outside and in, attention to detail marks the DS 7 Crossback out as a serious contender to the luxury SUV establishment. Steering wheel and roof grab handles, for example, can be fully upholstered in leather, matching the pearl stitched upholstery on the dashboard and seats. The Crossback certainly isn’t left wanting in the tech department either. Two 12-inch screens nestle in the heart of the cabin displaying both infotainment and a digital instrument cluster. From here, drivers can access the Crossback’s plethora of drive assist systems. ‘Park Pilot’ is fairly self-explanatory, whilst ‘Night Vision’ uses an infrared camera in the front grille to pick out objects in the road ahead at a distance of up to 100m.
However, that’s not the only pre-emptive trick in the DS 7’s armoury. A second camera mounted behind the windscreen constantly monitors the surface of the road ahead and transmits data in real time to the front and rear axles. Electronic wizardry then takes over to adjust each wheel independently, thereby either softening or firming up the ride. Think of it as a kind of self-regulating adaptable suspension – and a damn smart one at that.
The all-new DS 7 Crossback will show its face to the general public for the first time at the upcoming 2017 Geneva Motor Show. There, we should find out more concrete details on projected release dates, not to mention the nitty-gritty on spec and trim levels.