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Driven: DS officially launches in Australia

Oh la la: A two-year build-up program lies ahead of the DS Automobiles brand, with six models due by 2018.

Citroen premium spin-off launches locally with revised diesel-only DS5

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DS logo30 Oct 2015

By TIM ROBSON

AUSTRALIA’S newest car brand has officially hit the market with the launch of the revised DS Automobiles DS5.

Available in a single mechanical specification, the updated DS5 marks the start of a model influx that will peak in 2018, when the brand will roll out the first of its independently built models.

It joins the other Citroen-badged DS models, including DS3, DS3 cabriolet and the soon-to-be-updated DS4 in the local roster, but the DS5 is the first official fully fledged DS Automobiles model.

Citroen Australia’s outgoing general manager John Startari told GoAuto that the transition to a completed DS Automobiles brand will take some time, and will encompass a three-part strategy: establishing the brand, setting up DS Salons in local dealerships, then backing it all with marketing support.

“The fact that we have been in this market for some time with the two brands (Citroen and DS) together means that we need a different strategy to China and in Europe,” said Mr Startari.

“Obviously, the critical mass is there, so separation can happen a lot quicker.

I’ve always said that when it’s economically viable, we will fully separate, but we’re transitioning.”

The revised DS5 – which is still based on the PF1 platform which also underpins the Peugeot 508 – has been updated with the PSA Group’s most potent diesel, the 133kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘BlueHDi 180HP’.

Paired with an Aisin-developed six-speed automatic gearbox, the engine can send the DS5 from 0-100km/h in a claimed 9.2 seconds, and on to a top speed of 220km/h, while returning an official combined-cycle fuel economy figure of 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres. Carbon dioxide emissions are rated at 118 grams per kilometre.

No other engine or transmission option is available for the DS5, with over 90 per cent of customers opting for a diesel version to this point.

The steering system is still hydraulic, while the suspension system is not (as might be expected) a version of Citroen’s air/hydraulic Hydractive 3 Plus rather, more traditional steel springs and dampers are fitted to MacPherson struts on the front end and a torsion bar rear.

Along with the new drivetrain, a new 7.0-inch infotainment screen, DAB+ digital radio, new 18-inch rims, a new LED headlight and daytime running light (DRL) array and blind spot monitoring have been added.

Thirty examples of a limited-edition version known as the 60th Edition will go on sale alongside the revised DS5. It will feature ‘watch-strap’ leather trim, an upgraded Denon stereo system, 19-inch rims and a choice of premium paint, plus additional trim pieces inside and out, for an additional $3000.

Other standard features on the regular DS5 include bi-Xenon headlights, LED DRLs and LED scrolling indicators, LED front foglights with cornering function, 18-inch black alloy rims, black leather upholstery and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with MirrorLink, the DAB+ radio, satellite navigation and guided-line reversing camera.

A leather-clad steering wheel, analogue clock, electronic handbrake, cruise control with speed limiter and memory settings, USB and auxiliary jacks, front and rear parking sensors, interior LED mood lighting, folding and heated door mirrors, dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, automatic wipers and headlights, and a colour head-up display are also fitted.

The front seats are heated and fitted with electric lumbar adjustment and massage function, while driver convenience also extends to keyless entry and push-button start.

Lastly, there is a cockpit-style three-part glass roof fitted as standard, with individual electric sunblinds for each section.

Along with blind spot monitoring, six airbags are fitted as standard, along with hill-start assist and electronic stability and traction control.

Just 45 DS5s have been sold this year so far, with 155 DS-branded Citroens in total finding new homes to the end of September.

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