DS Automobiles has unveiled a new plug-in hybrid version of its flagship SUV – the DS 7 Crossback.
Dubbed the E-Tense – a moniker set to adorn all DS’s electric and hybrid models – the premium crossover gets 296 bhp, four-wheel-drive and a 31-mile all-electric range according to the new, more stringent WLTP emissions test.
Under the skin, the E-Tense will combine a 197 bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine with two 107 bhp electric motors and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Together, these offer 332 lb-ft of torque and 296 bhp – enough for a hot hatch-rivalling 6.5-second sprint from 0-62 mph.
More importantly, though, the dual-fuel powertrain will emit less than 50g of carbon dioxide per kilometre, with an official fuel consumption figure of 128 mpg.
On electricity alone, it will achieve speeds of up to 83 mph (136 mph if the petrol engine kicks in) and travel for more than 30 miles before the battery runs flat. When that happens, the petrol engine will start, allowing the car to continue its journey.
However, because of DS’s experience in Formula E, the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense gets race-derived brake energy regeneration, which effectively charges the battery whenever the car slows.
If, on the other hand, you can make it to a domestic 13-amp plug, you can charge the battery in eight hours, or in as little as two hours if you have a 32-amp wall-mounted terminal with a 6.6kWh charger.
And DS has promised that unlike some other hybrids, which have reduced boot space thanks to the bulky battery packs, the E-Tense will store its batteries under the floor to offer the same luggage bay volume as the standard, front-wheel-drive, internal combustion-powered DS 7 Crossback.
As well as clever technology, though, the DS 7 E-Tense is also offering some new styling enhancements, including 19-inch alloy wheels and a new Crystal Grey body colour. The car will also be marked out by the E embossed on the gearbox control, which is a nod to the DS E-Tense electric concept car first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016.
French-owned brands making hybrid headway
The hybrid has been promised for a long time, but it comes just days after DS’s owner, Groupe PSA, announced that it would introduce plug-in hybrid and electric versions of all its new cars from next year.
Earlier today (September 24), DS’s sister company, Peugeot, revealed hybrid versions of the 508 saloon and 3008 SUV, while announcements from the other brands in the group – Citroen and Vauxhall – are expected soon.