Groupe PSA’s premium brand says all new vehicles will be hybrid or full EVs within the next few years, and unveils 2035 EV concept
PSA Group’s luxury and premium arm, DS Automobiles, has said all future models will be electrified, joining the range of automakers making a pledge for an electric future.
Of course, as with similar announcements made by the likes of Volvo and Aston Martin, that doesn’t mean DS will abandon the ICE; rather, every model it makes will be available as a hybrid or battery EV as standard from 2025 (although it will also produce other battery-only models).
Speaking during the ePrix event in Paris last weekend, CEO Yves Bonnefont, stated that: “Starting in 2025, each new DS will be launched exclusively with electrified powertrains. Our ambition is very clear: for DS to be among the global leaders in electrified cars on its market.”
Initially operated as a sub-brand of Citroen, DS was spun out as a standalone premium business in 2015 and is now keen to distinguish itself from the competition. The company is now looking ahead to the launch of its upcoming DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 4×4, a hybrid petrol model, but says it will also make an announcement of its first all-electric model in a few weeks, which will be presented at the Paris Motor Show in October.
The DS 7 CROSSBACK will be officially released in Autumn 2019, offering four-wheel drive, 300 bhp and a plug-in range of 50 km (based on a WLTP rating).
DS has been a major player in Formula E since its inception, and says the championship has played a key role in informing its electrification strategy and technology. DS PERFORMANCE – the company’s motorsport division – is the only French brand to be an FIA-approved manufacturer from the 2018/2019 season.
Shades of that experience can be seen in the company’s latest concept, also revealed last week. The DS X E-TENSE is reportedly a vision of the supercar in 2035, complete with vertical “elytre door” and carbon fibre trim.
Two front wheel motors offer peak power of 400kW (540 horsepower), but Formula E genetics show through in the ability to boost output to 1,000kW (1,360 horsepower) in ‘circuit’ mode. The carbon fibre chassis also sits on springs and torsion bars, while traction, grip and deceleration is controlled by an active system which optimises performance.
Battery architecture, design and size were not discussed.
Autonomous driving will also be possible, as well as some interesting design interior ideas for what can be done without the need for ICE configurations – such as the large sound bar which forms the car’s dashboard. Although built for one driver, other seats can be configured, with space for up to three in autonomous mode.
Other features, like the see-through electro-chromatic glass floor (through which you are encouraged to watch the road go by underneath the car), and a hologram assistant dubbed IRIS, seem a bit outlandish, even for 2035.
As a concept, the X E-TENSE doesn’t offer much that can’t be found in other similar “visions of the future” but as a brand DS is keen to show the importance of staying at the front of the pack in terms of a commitment to electrification. Let’s hope more of that high-performance Formula E technology makes its way into its upcoming models before 2025.