Lhe shy return of French brands to the top of the range is launched by hybridization, without which none of them would reach such levels of power. They remain modest compared to German performances, in particular, but taxation, at least in France, can come to the rescue of these estimable hybrids. And even crossbred with a large dose of China for this DS 9, a market without which it would never have seen the light of day. It offers a somewhat sanitized form of sportiness that would be a defect elsewhere but sticks here to the very essence of DS.
While the DS 9 range has four models, including three hybrids, the most ambitious version, with 360 hp, has been delayed for another year. It is that, in comparison with the 250 already tested in these columns, the modifications are deeper than expected. The car arrives finished from its Chinese factory to join the chains of Poissy, where a line has been set up. “A good part of the car is stripped down, a number of version specific items are added and everything is validated to the highest standards. It’s practically a car built by hand”, confesses to the Point Marion David, DS Product Manager.
And, indeed, the 360 justifies the increase in its performance by the grafting of an electric motor on the rear axle, with 113 hp and 166 Nm. It reinforces its counterpart at the front, already seen on the other DS 9 hybrids, providing for its part a first electric motor of 110 hp and 320 Nm operating in tandem or alternatively with the 4-cylinder 1.6 PureTech of 200 hp and 300 Nm. This is married to the EAT8 automatic gearbox .
A solution specific to Peugeot, which grafts this specific rear axle on demand, which transforms the receiver into all-wheel drive more than into 4×4. In total, the lucky owner of this elegant sedan can count on 360 hp and 520 Nm, which allow him to claim 0 to 100 km / h in 5.6 s and 0 -1,000 m in 25.4 s. As long as the battery provides the electrical backup needed to ramp up to that peak performance. However, this one, confined to 11.9 kWh, appears quite right while the E-Tense 250 now receives a 15.6 kWh, ardently demanded by fleet managers. It seems that, on the 360, there was not enough space available to accommodate it. Another downside, the charging power is capped at 7.4 kW.
The front axle is also modified so that the widened tracks are magnified by 20-inch wheels housing large 380 mm discs at the front tightened by 4-piston calipers. Comfortable, knowing that we also have a “brake” position on the gearbox management. This makes it possible to recover when lifting the foot from the accelerator according to a single force of 1.3 G, estimated to be maximum so as not to cause any discomfort for the passengers. The suspensions are specific for all the settings and we can count on pneumatic damping coupled with a camera anticipating the movements of the road to better erase its deformations.
LIFE ON BOARD
The DS 9 remains a model of its kind and can be traced back to German production for its sense of space and comfort. No need to change anything in this very protective and soundproof cocoon cabin behind its laminated windows and Alcantara headlining. We find this fabric, on the first level of finish, Performance Line +, with a more youthful and sporty style, while the Rivoli +, statutory, completes the already generous equipment of the superfluous which some could still lack with full grain leather. .
Most spectacular is the BRM watch popping out of the dashboard on start-up. And the audio system of the Stéphanoise brand Focal with a striking rendering. One omission, however, the steering remained in manual adjustment while the electric, heated, massaging seats are adjustable in all directions. In our case, the adjustment of the driving position did not allow the feet of the passengers to slide under the driver’s seat, imposing on it a small compromise. In addition, if the capacity of the trunk is generous in depth, its narrow access is complicated by the absence of tailgate, considered incompatible with a limousine in China.
AUTO POINT OPINION
The DS 9 is obviously a very large tourer with its chassis stretched to the maximum to accommodate all the technological content while offering a passenger compartment that has remained spacious. But it has a particular advantage over other hybrids: the brand’s historic commitment to Formula E, where it won several brand and driver titles with Jean-Éric Vergne. It made it possible to put the latter to work by transposing, with its engineers, a large number of racing lessons to this road car, whose management of the hybrid seems very judicious. The driving assistance software that he has developed encourages people to do a lot of braking recovery.
Under these conditions, and with 90% flowing but fast driving, we were able to achieve, on a selective route combining winding roads in the Esterel, city and motorway, a consumption of 7.4 l with a regeneration performance of 99 %. Jean-Éric Vergne had set the threshold to be reached at 95%. A retest of the 250 E-Tense in economy mode allowed us to go down, after 140 km, to 3.2 l, until the largest battery declared package.
On the other hand, the few kilometers achieved in sport mode with the 360 show that the performance is there, but also the frustration since all the hybrid driving aids encourage you not to use them. There is also a direction that is not communicative enough at this level of performance. Too bad, because the royal comfort and the efficiency of the chassis gobble up the difficulties without apparent effort, with a striking mastery for a machine of this size. There is therefore a French way to high-end standing, the era dedicated to electricity having made it possible to achieve it without six or eight cylinders reserved for those nostalgic for “it was better before”.
Remarkable Activ Scan suspension
Successful Hybrid Harmonization
Habitability and finishes
Supportable tax status
Lean standing of the 4 cylinder
Management not very communicative
Restricted trunk access
Under the hood of the DS9 E-Tense 360:
Internal combustion engine: 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol direct injection
Displacement: 1,598 cc
Power: 200 hp at 6,000 rpm
Torque: 300 Nm at 3,000 rpm
Electric motors: 110 hp and 320 Nm at the front and 113 and 166 Nm at the rear
Battery: 11.9 kWh lithium-ion
Total traction chain: 360 hp and 520 Nm
Transmission: 4 wheels
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic
Dimensions L x W x H: 4.93 x 1.93 x 1.46 m
Trunk: 510 l
Speed: 250 km/h
Autonomy: 52 km in urban cycle and 47 km in WLTP mixed cycle
Consumption on cycle (full battery at the start): 1.8 l/100 km
CO2 : 41 g/km (malus 1,090)
Weight: 1,909 kg (5.3 kg/hp)
Price: from 67,500 and 70,400 euros