DS 7 E-Tense 4x4 powertrain and design
Named after DS’s electric supercar concept first shown in 2016, the 7 Crossback E-Tense 4x4 has a powertrain consisting of a 200bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine up front and a 110bhp electric motor on each axle. The front-mounted motor doubles as an engine starter-generator and transmits power to the front wheels via the car’s eight-speed automatic gearbox, while the rear one drives the rear wheels via ‘direct drive’ reduction gearing.
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Both motors draw power from a 13kWh lithium ion drive battery capable of a peak power supply equivalent to 125bhp, mounted next to a fuel tank of reduced size compared with that of the regular 7 Crossback. The battery will not be DC fast-charge compatible but will charge on a ‘Type 3’ 32-amp AC mains charger from flat to full in two hours. A home charge from a three-pin plug will take seven hours.
Zero-emissions battery range for the car is expected to be between 30 and 40 miles.
Despite adding between 250 and 300kg to the kerb weight of an equivalent petrol-powered 7 Crossback, the new petrol-electric plug-in hybrid technology is expected to deliver big-hitting performance for the car. Peak power output will be 296bhp, translating to 0-62mph performance of around 6.0sec – but engineers are also aiming for lab-verified CO2 emissions of around 40g/km under new World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) rules.
Driving the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 4x4
The DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 4x4 will have five different driving modes by the time it launches, though only two were available when we tested it: ZEV (electric-only) and Hybrid.
With plenty of powertrain response and abundant low-speed torque, the car steps off from standing smartly and very quietly, easily keeping performance in reserve, even in ZEV mode. It can be accelerated up to urban speeds and beyond without needing input from its piston engine and is mostly powered by that directly-driven rear axle when operating in ZEV mode, making for strong, instant drivability at low speeds and a close match for the driving experience of a pure electric car.
At higher speeds, where you might expect the car’s geared front-mounted motor to take over the balance of responsibility for propelling the car, however, the prototype seems to continue to rely on that rear axle, beginning to feel less potent and easily drivable as a result.
DS 7 Crossback 2018 review