DS 3 Cross­back SUV shapes up

Exclusive im­ages pre­view crossover as brand sets sights on Coun­try­man

Auto Express - - Top Story - John Mcil­roy John_m­cil­roy@den­nis.co.uk @john­m­cil­roy

DS is plan­ning to square up to the MINI Coun­try­man and Audi Q2 with a high-rid­ing DS 3 SUV that’s due to break cover next year and ar­rive in Bri­tish deal­er­ships at the start of 2019. And a fully elec­tric ver­sion is also on the way.

Likely to be badged the DS 3 Cross­back, the new car will vie with the next-gen­er­a­tion Peu­geot 208 to be the first model based on par­ent com­pany PSA’S all-new small CMP plat­form. It’s ex­pected to be just over four me­tres long and, as pre­viewed in our exclusive im­ages, it’ll mix ex­ist­ing DS 3 styling cues with de­sign lan­guage in­tro­duced on the forth­com­ing DS 7 Cross­back.

Speak­ing at the re­cent Tokyo Mo­tor Show, Eric Apode, DS’S ex­ec­u­tive vi­cepres­i­dent with re­spon­si­bil­ity for re­search and de­vel­op­ment, gave the strong­est of­fi­cial hint yet that a small DS SUV is be­ing lined up. “Out of the 650,000 cars DS has sold since 2010, two-thirds have been the DS 3,” Apode said. “Of course, we need to cash in on the large amount of cus­tomers who have bought into DS through the DS 3 over the past six or seven years.” Evo­lu­tion

He con­tin­ued: “Beyond that, we also see and recog­nise the evo­lu­tion of the mar­kets. We can see the same with MINI; there, the likes of the Coun­try­man [SUV] are boom­ing while the three-door hatch­back sales are de­creas­ing. It’s the same for Audi, too.

“So let’s say that what we have in mind is to be where the most prof­itable ve­hi­cles and where the vol­umes are, with­out for­get­ting the DS 3 cus­tomers. On the next gen­er­a­tions of small DS you will find a lot of el­e­ments, in­clud­ing per­son­al­i­sa­tion, lim­ited edi­tions and so on, which have al­ready been launched by the DS 3.”

Apode also con­firmed that the next small DS would use the CMP chas­sis, and added: “The fresh plat­form will be key for us to at­tack new seg­ments.”

The model is un­likely to be a di­rect re­place­ment for the ex­ist­ing DS 3. This car will con­tinue to be sold along­side the new­comer un­til at least the end of the decade – al­beit with in­fo­tain­ment up­grades as well as fur­ther spe­cial edi­tions.

How­ever, Auto Ex­press un­der­stands that an­other DS su­per­mini is not one of the six new mod­els promised by 2023, and that no con­crete plan for such a ve­hi­cle ex­ists beyond that point. The DS 3 Cross­back will be PSA’S first small car to make use of the elec­tri­fied ver­sion of the chas­sis parts, called E-CMP – and that means DS will be able to offer the Cross­back as a pure EV as well. Fig­ures pub­lished by DS show the car will have a 114bhp elec­tric mo­tor and a 50kwh bat­tery that gives a range of 280 miles.

This ver­sion is likely to ar­rive soon af­ter the con­ven­tion­ally pow­ered edi­tions, be­cause PSA has al­ready said that the first E-CMP car – which, by rights, will be the DS 3 Cross­back – will reach show­rooms in 2019. It’ll join a plug-in hy­brid ver­sion of the DS 7 Cross­back in DS’S elec­tri­fied line-up.

The DS 7 Cross­back is the first ve­hi­cle to prop­erly em­body the four core val­ues that have been laid out for the separate DS brand: de­sign, com­fort, French lux­ury and tech­nol­ogy. Eric Apode ad­mit­ted that sev­eral of its de­sign fea­tures would end up on all of the forth­com­ing new mod­els.

“There are some key el­e­ments, such as the front and rear lights, and the grille, that are fun­da­men­tal,” he said. “We will re­peat them across the range to give a fam­ily feeling. Our new fam­ily will look closer to­gether than the DS 3, DS 4 and DS 5.”

CUT­TING EDGE DS 3 Cross­back is ex­pected to be first model to use par­ent com­pany PSA’S all-new small CMP plat­form

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