It's fair to say that the first DS 4, and its baffling DS 4 Crossback lifestyle spin-off, hardly set the critical world on fire. So the French luxury marque is having another crack of the whip with this, the all-new DS 4.
Built on the EMP2 platform and designed to sit alongside the existing DS 3 Crossback and DS 7 Crossback models, the new DS 4 will come with petrol, diesel and also plug-in hybrid electric vehicle powertrains. The last of these will be sold under the E-Tense nameplate, which was previously used on an all-electric variant of the current DS 3.
The car's striking styling and lack of 'Crossback' nomenclature should indicate that the DS 4 is a C-segment premium hatchback, rather than a crossover-SUV, and it is due to go into battle against the likes of the Audi A3 Sportback, the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes A-Class - although a DS 4 Cross version, with black exterior detailing, its own design of alloys, roof rails and Advanced Traction Control incorporating Hill Assist Descent Control, will also be offered.
The DS4 measures 4.4 metres long, 1.47 metres tall and 1.83 metres wide, with alloy wheels of up to 20 inches in diameter offered as well. DS Matric LED Vision headlights will be available, with 98 LEDs in total, and along the sides the door handles are flush-fitting. A steeply raked rear windscreen and C-pillars with an inset 'DS Automobiles' badge completes the look.
Plug-in hybrid included
Inside, it's a heavily digital interior. A new control layout groups the main functions into three interface zones, while the 'DS Air' ventilation system is a bit like the one you'd find on the Porsche Taycan, as invisible air vents direct the flow of cooling or heating air around the cabin. Extensive use of leather, Alcantara, forged carbon, wood and other upholsteries should give the cabin the premium touch, while the main digital interfaces we mentioned already are the DS Extended Head-Up Display in front of the driver, the ten-inch DS Iris System infotainment in the centre of the dashboard, and a unique gesture control system called DS Smart Touch, which is located on the centre console. This is a small screen you can operate with your fingertips and which recognises movements towards key controls.
Power will come from tried and tested PSA units that have already been deployed in other DS products, as well as various Peugeots and Citroens. The E-Tense plug-in hybrid is the headline act, pairing a 180hp four-cylinder PureTech turbocharged petrol engine to a 110hp electric motor and an e-EAT8 automatic gearbox. Peak system output is 225hp, while it is said to be capable of more than 50km in fully electric mode. Alongside the hybrid, there will be 130-, 180- and 225hp pure petrol DS 4 models, as well as a 130hp BlueHDi turbodiesel variant. All will come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, with no manual offered.
'Redefine the premium C-segment'
The DS 4 will go on sale during the last quarter of this year, so we'll bring you more information on this upmarket French contender as it nears launch. Although, bear in mind, there is a change in distribution for DS in Ireland at the moment, so there is no official dealer as of this moment. Anyway, until that is resolved and until the car appears later in 2021, then it's over to Marion David, DS Automobiles' product director, who said: "DS 4 was conceived to redefine the outline of the Premium C segment. It's aimed at customers attracted by two body shapes: the new aspirational Coupé-SUV and the traditional compact hatchback. At every stage of its design, the idea of appealing to these two segments drove our decisions."