Four-wheel drive? 360 hp? In a French car? This is enticing. Come on board with us for a sneak preview in a development prototype of the DS 9 E-Tense 4 × 4 360…
Let's put things straight: for a full test of the “civilian” DS 9, I suggest you click here without delay ; you will find there my test and my opinion on this large French sedan and its plug-in hybrid engine of “only” 225 hp. Here, we will only present the differences between the latter and the ultimate version, so poetically called “E-Tense 4 × 4 360”.
What is changing?
At first glance… not much. In front of me is a DS 9 with two obvious features: the 20 ″ rims and that nice Whisper shade. Ah, and leaning over, the front calipers are painted black with a “DS Performance” lettering. "The Whisper is only there because they are prototypes, it will not be available in series", showered me with a communicator of the brand. Ah. So let's refocus on the rims, the 20 ″ “Munich” exclusive to this version, which nevertheless go particularly well to the DS 9. An impression undoubtedly reinforced by the widened tracks (24 mm at the front and 12 mm at the rear) and by the body lowered by… we do not know how much, the final figure still being calibrated. Other than that, same skirts, same shields, same finishes. Only one of the prototypes had the "E-Tense 4 × 4" logo stamped on its trunk, but I suspect it will be featured on production vehicles. After all, the DS 7 is entitled to it.
Inside, it's very simple: nothing changes. No magic button, no specific upholstery, no exotic veneer, r i e n. Even the habitability remains the same, with a trunk varying between 473 and 510 liters depending on the equipment. I still find it a shame. I'm not talking about kekeifying the car with ridiculous appendages or tacky details, just being able to show that we paid a little more than the base DS 9 owner (where the PureTech 225 version starts at 47,700). €, you have to count € 66,500 minimum to access the E-Tense 4 × 4 360 version, which is almost a € 20,000 difference!), And to be able to enjoy it every morning when you take it out of the garage. Never mind.
“The essential is invisible to the eyes”, the Little Prince told us, and this DS 9 is no exception to the rule. To arrive at the promised 360 hp, the engineers of DS Performance (installed like the rest of the “sport” teams of the ex-PSA at Satory) started with the 1.6L PureTech house in a variation of 200 hp, to which are added two electric motors. : a first at the front of 110 hp, taken from the “civilian” DS 9 E-Tense, and a second of 113 hp on the rear axle; these two motors being powered by the 11.9 kWh battery of the other models. Performances ? Still in development. We were still able to have some target figures: a 0 to 100 km / h in 5.6 s, the 1000 m from a standing start in 25.2 s, pick-ups from 80 to 120 km / h in 3.2 s and a maximum speed restricted to 250 km / h… while remaining under 49 g of CO2 per kilometer, thereby exempting this DS 9 from ecological penalties. Ah, and the braking energy recovery strategy is advertised as taking full advantage of the know-how of the DS teams in Formula E. On the road!
What does it change ?
I will come out of these twenty minutes spent driving this revered DS 9 with a hell of a potato. Because she has it, little one! Two things really impressed me with, first, impeccable traction. The four-wheel drive does a crazy job here and manages to get all of the power to the ground without a hitch. To this first good point are added some remarkable revivals, the car being well helped by the immediacy of the electric motors. Very useful engines in this case, since it’s not the PureTech that will make us shiver. No surprise a priori on this point: the 1.6L has never shown a crazy character and DS Performance engineers cannot work miracles. The revving up is very linear, the soundtrack is quite flat – however we avoid the horrible artificial engine noises, that's always what it takes… Braking energy recovery, also still in development, seems to be much more powerful than the other engines, while keeping a real ease of the dosage and with a feeling of the brake pedal less spongy than the others.
The idea is that the DS 9 E-Tense 4 × 4 360 remains a DS 9: understand that its driving aspires to a real serenity. You can drive very quickly with this sedan, without being able or wanting to drive very hard: small sequences are not necessarily your favorite playground. The DS 9 is by no means a GTI, it is a large, high-performance sedan and tunes its game accordingly. In this context, it is important to note the first-rate chassis development: despite the large rims and the firmer suspensions, we are very comfortable in this cabin. In normal driving, we find this super comfortable & soft typing of the “normal” versions while keeping a real rigor in the maintenance of body. A real success.
You will understand: despite the little time spent at the wheel and the fact that the car is still being fine-tuned, I really enjoyed driving the DS 9 E-Tense 4 × 4 360. If the first classic DS 9 will be delivered in September, this multivitamin version will not arrive, at best, until the very end of the year. With a funny detail, which should certainly not help in the process: all the DS 9 4 × 4 will arrive in France… without a rear engine. In fact, the latter will be mounted on these copies at Poissy by a dedicated team, which will also take care of all the last minute tune-ups. The joys of globalization
Photo credits: Jean-Baptiste Passieux
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