This is the Citroën DS 5LS, the French company’s new Chinese market flagship model.
It goes on sale in April next year and will not be sold outside of China, although it might eventually find its way to other Asian markets.
The DS 5LS is a 4.7m-long luxury saloon and is based on the same C4-derived platform as the DS5 hatchback, and is built in the same Shenzen plant, on the border with Hong Kong. The company says the car will compete with the new Audi A3 saloon and VW’s best-selling local Sagitar saloon.
In China, DS is a distinct brand from Citroën and the current DS3, 4 and 5 models are sold through 50 ‘DS Stores’, which are located in the country’s 40 largest cities. Although Citroën was one of the first western marques to establish itself in China, the brand is now inevitably associated with the huge number of Citroën taxis in the country.
The exterior of the DS 5LS is the first showing of the DS brand’s new corporate ‘DS Wings’ nose, which Citroën says was inspired by the “two chrome wings that connected the headlamps of the original, 1955, DS”.
Citroën says the car has the longest (2.71m) wheelbase in the C-sector and much of the emphasis is being placed on the car’s interior. Citroën says the cabin uses “luxurious, authentic materials such as metal, wood and semi-aniline leather’.
There are four trim levels, with the entry-level ‘1’ model having a cloth-trimmed interior and ‘2’ and ‘3’ having black leather. The top model gets the semi-aniline leather trim.
Citroën claims that the standard of this leather trim – which is also used on the dashboard – has only previous been found in the cabins of ‘luxury brands’. The seats of the top-range model are faced with the ‘watch bracelet’ design seen on previous DS models.
Equipment options include an air ioniser (for purifying China’s notorious polluted atmosphere) an audio system that includes a Denon hi-fi and surround sound processor, massaging front seats, ‘airline style’ headrests and rear seats ‘inclined at a 29-degree angle’. Keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, a touchscreen monitor and DVD player.
At launch there will be three petrol engines available. A normally aspirated 136bhp VTi unit (coupled to a manual transmission) and two twin-scroll turbocharged THP units good for 160bhp and 200bhp. Both of these are coupled to a six-speed autobox.
During 2014, Citroën says that a DS SUV will be launched in China, inspired by the Wild Rubis concept.
Another model will follow in 2015, which is expected to be a fully fledged DS luxury saloon, which was previewed by the Numero 9 concept car. By later in 2015, Citroën expects to be selling a total of 200,000 DS models annually across the four China-built cars.