Test Drive: The New DS4
Ian Lamming takes a welcome first look at the new DS4
DS promise the big reveal, albeit virtual, and it reinforces that I can only do one thing at a time.
Up pops the video featuring the gorgeous new DS4 accompanied by the typical fanfare and fancy lighting as the new model bursts on to the stage. Then as the DS senior management begin to speak, it’s all in French with English subtitles.
At this point I realise the problem, I can’t read the subtitles and look at the pictures at the same time; well I am a boy, so no multi-skilling here.
Given the choice I opt for the visuals because this new DS is an absolutely stunning looking car, especially from the rear.
Do you remember the old days when automotive shows were full of concept vehicles on which we would all salivate to no avail as they would never make production.
Well, thankfully, not on this occasion. The newly suited DS is every bit the futuristic concept car and it is absolutely gorgeous, from all angles, with a rear that wouldn’t look out of place on an Aston Martin.
DS’s marketing folk say it is designed to ‘challenge and captivate through its impressive proportions, charismatic appearance and muscular stance’. They are not wrong and I find myself challenged, captivated by impressive proportions, charismatic appearance and muscular stance. Who would have thought?
Large wheels, an athletic shape and an aerodynamic profile give DS4 fluid lines to die for, all the way back to sculpted rear lights and elegantly shaped bottom.
Back at the front you not only get the piercing stare of 98 slim-line LED matrix lights, complemented by striking LED day running strips, you also get the boldest of grilles, which could frighted small children or grate a block of cheese.
There are the choices of two distinct looks, DS4 Performance Line to bring out your sporty side and DS4 Cross for adventurers who dream of heading off road – though you wouldn’t dare.
Inside, augmented technology is the stuff of sci-fi movies with an advanced cockpit designed to be hi-tech and ergonomic.
The interior is elegant, dare I say uber posh, with swathes of stitched leather and quality trim. It’s a supremely opulent place to be but beneath the gloss lies unparalleled levels of technology including touch screens and an extended head-up display with something called ‘E-toggle Control. Even the stylised electric window controls, which sit like jewels in the trim, are different, special. As for conventional air-vents? Not anymore; the DS’s are invisible, so there’s nothing to distract occupants from the unique materials including forged carbon, brown ash and of course leather, full grain or Nappa in the watchstrap design, an iconic signature of the DS brand.
All good so far but we mustn’t forget DS4 is a car. As we march inexorably towards full electric, DS4 blends a 180HP petrol engine with a 110HP plug-in electric motor. The total output is 225HP so performance will be impressive and there’s the option to drive more than 30 miles on EV to make the most of its zero emissions.
DS models have always featured advance suspension and the 4 offers an active set-up which actually uses a camera located at the top of the windscreen, four attitude sensors and three accelerometers which scan ahead to anticipate road conditions and instantly tell each of the wheels independently what to do to make the suspension firmer or softer depending on what it witnesses. Very clever.
It’s a lot to take in, especially if, like me, you can’t multi-task, but if you break down the new DS4 into its easy to understand components, it is simple – it looks fantastic, it’s fabulous inside and it can’t fail to be great to drive.
Engine: Petrol with plug in electric motor
Power: 225HP total
Top speed: -
Combined MPG: -
Transmission: eight speed manual
CO2 g/km: 79.9
Price: To be announced