The Citroen DS5 hatchback has made its international debut at the Shanghai motor show and is the third model in Citroen’s new parallel DS range of premium cars. The big news technologically is a 200bhp hybrid powertrain that’s four-wheel drive and offers tax-free emissions of 99g/km of CO2. Based on a (thoroughly revised) Citroen C5, the new DS5 has a distinctive style of its own. There are lashings of chrome, best evidenced on the grille and novel landing strips over its bonnet. Its stylish alloy wheels will vary in size from 16 to 19 inches.
The roofline stretches back gracefully to a small rear window and wide boot, with twin chrome tailpipes and LED lights rounding off the tail’s details. Gloss black door pillars and tinted windows give the roof the same lightweight appearance seen with the Citroen DS3. In a bold move, Citroen has placed controls both above the driver’s head and on the dashboard, taking inspiration from aircraft design. A colour Head-Up Display will also project information into the driver’s field of vision.
Plenty of leather and other soft-touch fabrics have been used to set it apart from the C5 and take Citroen’s third and most expensive DS model so far into competition with more luxurious models. A compact size slots the DS5 in between a hatchback and a traditional saloon, with seating for five and a reasonable 465-litre boot. Though it’s a difficult car to pigeon-hole, we expect the DS5 will go up against more alternative luxury offerings like the Infiniti EX when it goes on sale in early 2012. Expect prices close to the £30,000 mark.
If you’re thinking that the DS5 sounds like a triumph of style over substance, you’re probably right. Citroën’s latest hatchback looks absolutely stunning and has an equally beautiful cabin, while its concept feels fresh, just like the Mercedes-Benz CLS and BMW X6 did when they first appeared. These credentials alone will have some aesthetes signing the paperwork. Similarly the DS5 will appeal to tech junkies wishing to sample the smooth and unique diesel/electric drivetrain, or to company car drivers attracted by its sensational economy figures.