The now classic Citroen DS was a real ground-breaker of a car when it was unveiled in 1955. Aerodynamic styling from the future, extravagant French luxury and revolutionary new suspension. Now an automotive icon, the “godess” is seen as one of the definitive moments in the automotive landscape during the 20th century. Wind the clock forward 60 years and we are witnessing the birth of a brand new company named DS. Whilst Citroen enjoyed great success with DS as a sub-brand, incredible sales in China where DS stands on its own two feet has prompted PSA to form the brand DS. It will have separate showrooms, design language and target audience. Celebrating its namesake at the dawn of a new age for DS, this is the 2015 DS 5 1955 Special Edition BlueHDi 150.
The first of six cars that will make up the DS range, the DS 5 has been revised inline with the mark breaking away from Citroen. This car embodies the DS ethos of being unique with its concept car styling. Its bold profile and sloping proportions are flamboyant and unmistakably French. The “DS wings” design to the front end is all-new with plenty of chrome promoting class along with intricate LED lighting. Detailed alloy wheels that wouldn’t look out of place on a sculpture find a home in each corner. More chrome runs the length of the car leading onlookers towards its tapered rear end. Large rear lights and dual chromed exhausts complete this highly stylised Product. This specific DS 5 is a 1955 Special Edition which marks 60 years since the original DS. It features gold badging, 60th anniversary logos and gold wheel centres that compliment the Ink Blue paintwork. Just 65 of these cars are coming to the UK.
The interior of this 2015 DS 5 1955 Special Edition BlueHDi 150 feels really special. Criollo Semi-Aniline Leather, one of the finest leathers in the world, upholsters sumptuous “watch strap” styled seats that cosset you from the moment you enter. Aluminium details the cabin whilst light floods in through three individual glass panels in the roof. A high console divides the front passengers and overhead aircraft styled toggle switches further promote the DS “avant-garde” attitude to design. Infotainment is handled through a new touchscreen system which allows access to; BlueTooth, DAB radio, satellite navigation and internet access. Whilst this does cut down on the number of buttons on the console, I did find it a bit of a reach punching in postcodes at times. That aside, the interior is a beautiful blend of modern sculpting and timeless aviation inspired features. It feels like a lot of attention to detail has been paid in order to create a luxurious environment. In the back there is seating for three with plenty of leg room to stretch out. However, the cars raked roofline does cut down on head room and also consequentially rear visibility. Thankfully our test car was equipped with a reversing camera which made up for the small rear window. The boot is of a good size at 465 litres with the seats up and the parcel shelf in place.
Refinement is clearly a high priority for a car such as this and the DS5 does not disappoint. Its 2.0 litre diesel engine only really makes itself known under heavy acceleration and good cabin insulation reduces road and wind noise. Light steering makes for an easy driving experience, one that will have you arrive as calm and relaxed as when you set off. A six speed manual gearbox is also effortless in its operation. New shock absorbers have raised the ride hight slightly and have addressed the cars ride criticisms. With these large 18 inch alloy wheels it still is a little firmer than some competitors, but it now soaks up bumps with much more grace than before. On a motorway this 2015 DS 5 is a pleasure, a real living room on wheels. Bathe in its tranquility and rest assured that whilst nobody is taking a second look at that (insert generic German luxury brand) in the outside lane, this machine turns heads. With 370Nm on offer this engine will happily demonstrate meaningful motorway manoeuvres whilst a combined 68.9MPG is claimed. Whilst we are talking facts and figures, this model will emit just 105g/k of CO2. On the move the DS 5 is so soothing to the point where it masks its speed very well, so keep an eye on that speedometer!
Our test car came to £29,600 with the standard petrol car proving an entry level at just over £27,000. That is not an inconsiderable amount of money. PSA are well aware that this new brand has a long way to go before it is considered alongside the Germans which dominates sales in this segment. The 2015 DS 5 marks a return for French luxury and considering the way in which this first model goes about its business, I’d say DS stands a strong chance of succeeding.