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Shanghai show: Citroen’s DS5 surprise

Upmarket: The DS5 is the latest Citroen to join the French manufacturer's DS model series.

Third instalment of Citroen’s DS family emerges in China in the daring new DS5

19 Apr 2011

CITROEN has unveiled the third episode in its upmarket DS model series ahead of the Shanghai motor show in China overnight.

Emerging as a stylish five-door hatchback body derivative of the C5 sedan and wagon upon which it is based, the DS5 is unlikely to reach Australian shores until late 2012 at the earliest as the French maker focuses on left-hand drive markets for its largest DS model to date.

Unlike the three-door DS3, which went on sale here a month after Citroen’s all-new five-door C3 hatch last September, and the DS4, which is due on sale a month after the redesigned C4 hatch by December, the next-generation C5 will follow the DS5 on sale in 2013.

Though it is similar in concept to the higher-riding DS4 hatch, the DS5 is even more adventurous in comparison to its donor model, featuring complex body-side surfacing and a high, sweeping roofline that plunges more dramatically towards its rear hatchback.

There is, however, a similarly complicated front-end comprising an oversized air intake, large chromed grille incorporating Andre Citroen’s double-chevrons and back-swept headlights housing a new LED lighting signature.

33 center image Unique features include chromed ‘sabre’ inserts that stretch from each headlight to halfway up the front side windows, twin chromed outboard exhaust outlets within a black rear diffuser and a new take on the C5’s ‘boomerang’ tail-lights.

Although it is some 230mm longer overall than the current C5 Tourer at 4520mm, as well as wider at 1850mm, the DS5 therefore features a smaller but still respectable 465-litre boot that Citroen says makes it reminiscent of a sport wagon.

Hedging its bets somewhat, it also says the DS5, which was previewed by the C-SportLounge concept, offers five “real” seats, a driving position “worthy of a gran turismo coupé” and “all the access and modularity of a hatchback”.

Inside, Citroen says the DS5’s charismatic cabin features a driver-focused cockpit with a coupe-like driving position comprising a near-vertical steering wheel and wide centre console.

Along with an aircraft-style overhead console, the latter houses an array of buttons, switches, scroll wheels and toggles, including a push-button starter, while a head-up display and red/white ambient lighting system are also fitted.

The Shanghai DS5 production car’s interior was also swathed in premium materials like fine-grain Club leather and exclusive ‘watchstrap’ seat upholstery, but it remains unclear how much of all this will be standard.

Riding on specially designed five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels (production models will wear wheels from 16 to 19-inch), the DS5 displayed at Shanghai is coated in one-off White Pearl exterior paint, while its cabin features ebony-coloured full-grain leather with contrasting silver-flecked overstitching and decorative Markassa ebony trim inserts.

As with the DS3 and DS4, the more stylish DS5 – which Citroen says expresses the full extent of its ‘Créative Technologie’ – will command a price premium over the equivalent C5, but should also bring a higher level of driving dynamics, refinement and technology.

To that end, the DS5 will be the first Citroen to be powered by the PSA Peugeot-Citroen group’s Hybrid4 diesel-electric drivetrain, which combines a 120kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine with a 27kW electric motor on the rear axle to deliver peak output of 147kW and all-wheel drive capability.

Like Peugeot’s upcoming 3008 HyBrid4, the DS5 will also offer emissions-free city motoring and an acceleration boost function for the open road, while restricting total CO2 emissions to just 99g/km.

So far there are no details on the DS5’s conventional petrol or diesel engines, but expect the C5’s 2.0-litre diesel and (overseas) petrol engines – and the range-topping 3.0-litre HDi diesel V6 – to drive the front wheels of mainstream models.

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