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Citroen set to debut DS9

Shape of things to come: The long and smooth silhouette of the Citroen DS9 that will be unveiled next month.

Sneak preview for Citroen’s new DS9 flagship ahead of official Beijing show reveal

20 Mar 2012

THIS is a sneak preview of the forthcoming Citroen DS9 – the French car-maker’s long-awaited flagship saloon designed to give the Germans something to think about, especially in China.

It is expected to debut in production form at next month’s Beijing motor show, having first appeared in concept form as the Metropolis at the Shanghai show in May 2010.

These teaser images were released by Citroen via a Facebook page, in which it confirmed: “The future of the DS line is already taking shape at Citroen”.

The DS9 – a name designed to pay homage to the classic DS19 of the 1960s – will be a rival to premium saloons such as the Mercedes-Benz S-class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, even though its silhouette here appears to indicate a “shooting brake” or wagon style.

The big saloon is designed specifically with the chauffeur-driven top-end Chinese market in mind and will be built in China, but exported in small volumes to Europe.

Australian distribution is dependent on production of right-hand-drive models – which has yet to be confirmed – and therefore relying also on the interest and lobbying from the bigger UK and Japanese RHD markets.

While overseas reports continue to speculate that the DS9 will be built on Citroen’s dated C6 platform, we understood it is now based on the ‘flexible’ platform that underpins the company’s smaller but newer C5 and DS5.

This would also provide the potential for a hybrid powertrain, something likely to prove important for the Chinese market.

The Metropolis concept car was some 5.3 metres long (almost half a metre longer than the C6), 2.0 metres wide and only 1.4 metres high, giving it a sleek and imposing look.

It was powered by plug-in hybrid powertrain with a 2.0-litre petrol V6 driving through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, combined with an electric motor producing up to 70kW of power.

Citroen will produce the DS9 as part of its joint venture with the Changan Automotive Group in Guangdong province.

While has been primarily designed for China and was once thought to be exclusive to what is now Citroen’s biggest market – ahead of France – company boss Frederic Banzet said at the Geneva motor show earlier this month that the high-end DS brand will undergo further “internationalisation” this year.

The DS3 and DS4 are already sold in Australia.

There are plans to launch the DS3, DS4 and DS5 models in China, Russia and Brazil and three new China-only DS models are planned, while a new C-segment saloon and SUV are also understood to be in the works.

“They could end up elsewhere as we have a worldwide ambition with DS,” said Mr Banzet.

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