DS 4 takes an avant-garde approach to the family hatchback
DS Automobiles has revealed its latest model as the self-proclaimed avant-garde brand spun off from Citroen continues to grow its range, writes William Scholes.
It's a posh family hatchback-meets-crossover called the DS 4 and is the most flamboyant take yet on the platform also used by Citroen's C4 and Vauxhall's new Mokka.
As with other DS models, the car stands apart from more mainstream rivals with flamboyant detailing, such as its headlamp, taillamp and daytime running light treatment and flush door handles.
There's an upmarket feel to the interior, with what appears to be a rather less cluttered look to the dashboard than we've seen in other DS models.
'Invisible' air vents contribute to the smooth look and plush materials include leather, Alcantara, forged carbon and wood. The company talks about how "master upholsterers" have been at work in the interior, using details such as "hidden seams, where each stitch stops on a full hide, highlight the quality of the leather on the door panels".
The car is expected to reach Northern Ireland at the end of the year, with petrol and diesel engines offered as well as the by-now de rigueur plug-in hybrid drivetrain, here with around 30 miles of electric-only range.
Trim levels include the SUV-themed Cross - it gets matt black bumpers and roof bars, among other things - and Performance which, as you would expect, offers a sportier appearance.
You can also order the DS 4 with something called 'active scan suspension'. A camera positioned at the top of the windscreen scans the road surface in front of the car and sends the information to the computers which control the dampers at each wheel. The idea is that the car can soften or firm its suspension in anticipation of road conditions, thus making the ride more comfortable.
Another high-tech option is night vision, which uses an infra-red camera to identify pedestrians and animals up to 200 metres away in the dark.
DS points to the fact that its market share in Europe has now overtaken that of Lexus as evidence that there is an appetite for its distinctive approach; the DS 4 can only widen its appeal to those who want to drive something a little different...