DS 3 Crossback SUV shapes up
Exclusive images preview crossover as brand sets sights on Countryman
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.”