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Wednesday, 24 April 2019
WHEN Emmanuel Macron became president of France in May of last year the car he chose for his victory parade down the Champs-Elysées in Paris was the DS 7.
And you can see why. From its cool exterior to the quickly forming graphics inside on the car’s 12in central HD touchscreen when you engage the keyless start, the DS 7 resonates style.
No wonder DS Automobiles — Citroën brought the DS marque to life in early 2009 as a luxury sub-brand — describes the car as the “embodiment of French know-how and innovation”.
Of course the French love their inestimable take on style in just about everything, but especially when it comes to cars. And President Macron knew what he was doing when he chose the DS 7.
He only pulled back from completely wowing the nation in that now famous drive by waving at them through the open roof of a DS 7 that was a sober shade of black and chrome trim.
Simply because of its eye-catching Byzantin Gold Pearlescent paint job the new president might have been better served by the 2018 DS 7 Crossback I have been driving this week.
Well, I just thought I would mention that after all the first rule of being a successful politician is to get oneself noticed. And you might as well go the whole hog.
The Byzantin Gold Pearlescent hue of this car was a Marmite thing — some loved it, some did not — so maybe Macron got it right after all sticking with black.
A Crossback by the way is basically an SUV — sport utility vehicle — with attributes of other styles, including estate car looks but it sits higher on the road like a 4x4.
At the 33rd Festival Automobile International, Thierry Métroz, DS style director, received the Award for Best Interior for DS 7 Crossback.
So apart from a good dose of style and a shedload of awards what has the DS 7 Crossback on offer for a paying customer?
Its luxury interior in the test car that cost just north of £45,000 is the kind that you might expect to find only in more expensive cars.
The onboard technology is something else and paramount to the DS Automobiles ethos — “spirit of avant-garde”.
The 12in central HD touchscreen lets you operate various functions and gives you access to features including comfort, media, connectivity and Mirror Screen (Android AutoTM, Apple CarPlayTM and MirrorLink).
DS Night Vision enables you to spot hazards sooner on the road ahead. An infrared camera in the grille detects pedestrians and animals in the road up to 100 metres away.
The driver sees the road ahead in the digital instrument display with potential hazards highlighted in yellow, changing to red as they get closer. An audible alert can sound depending on how close these are. The idea is that you anticipate hazards and react accordingly.
An infrared camera above the steering wheel works in conjunction with a camera at the top of the windscreen to monitor three signs of distraction or drowsiness in the driver: movements of the eyes, eyelids and neck.
The system also assesses the trajectory of the vehicle in relation to road markings enabling it to detect sudden steering movements.
DS Active Scan Suspension analyses the road ahead and adjusts automatically, improving comfort on the move to create a unique, smooth driving experience.
This technology employs a camera placed behind the windscreen connected electronically to the front and rear axles. This works with four height sensors and three accelerometers to gauge the car’s reactions such as speed, steering wheel angle and braking.
The DS 7 can park itself parallel to the kerb or in a bay without the driver touching the steering wheel or pedals. DS Park Pilot finds parking spaces that car will fit into by driving past at speeds up to 18mph.
In 2019, the DS 7 Crossback will be launched with the E-TENSE 4x4 plug-in hybrid drivetrain. This comprises a 200hp petrol internal combustion engine and two electric motors that combine to give a total power output of 300hp.
Powertrains currently available are a choice of between dynamic petrol or diesel engines together with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox. The DS 7 I Crossback I have been driving was powered by a 1,997cc turbocharged diesel with excellent Stop & Start technology.
There are four trim levels for the DS 7: Elegance, Performance Line, Prestige and the car I was driving was the Ultra Prestige.
I like the fact that DS is making its own name heard by providing, throughout the model range, cars that are comfortable and luxurious no matter what their size.
When you add the vital ingredient of edgy technology you have to ask yourself what more do you want from a car?
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