French cars aimed at the top of the range have often been criticized for lacking powerful mechanics. But with the advent of plug-in hybrids, the situation has changed. After the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered, it is the turn of its cousin DS 9 to receive a variant that announces no less than 360 hp in combined power thanks to the combination of a 1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine (200 hp) and two electric motors, one at the front. (110 hp) and one at the back (113 hp) – and don’t be surprised if the addition exceeds 360 hp, the limit set by the power that the battery can provide. The holy cavalry that caused the development teams to inspect the tricolor limousine from top to bottom.
So, when the 4×4 360 versions arrive from China where this DS is made, they make a detour through Poissy. the they receive special axles front and rear (shock absorbers, springs and anti-roll bars), and widened lanes. The brakes are replaced with bigger ones (380 mm at the front, against 330 mm on the E-Tense 225) and, to complete the whole thing, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is mounted on 20-inch wheels supplied as standard. These tires which are usually found on exclusive sports cars (Ferrari, Porsche, etc.) make all the difference.
Excellent grip in the rain
That the 4.93 m tall and 1,909 kg sedan shows such grip on the wet roads that accompanied us throughout this test is surprising. With the help of an electric rear motor that converts this DS 9 into 4×4 on demand, traction is clearly impeccable. But the lateral grip is amazing, to the point where it almost feels like driving a GTi, with the steering well-tasteful to keep you in a confident mood. As a bonus, the stand, which is often the Achilles heel of hybrids, convinces with its stability and stability. Considering the 360 hp available, this is encouraging, while the measure is more difficult on the E-Tense 225 and 250 variants which develop the battery more efficiently during braking in order to find fewer grams of CO2.
Suffice it to say that this DS 9 4×4 360 is capable of showing a hell of a rhythm when the battery is sufficiently charged – 0 to 100 km / h declared in 5.6 s. The combined 520 Nm of torque makes overtaking very encouraging. Too bad that behind this efficiency, the atmosphere of “sports” is not clean. Performance turbo 4-cylinder 1.6 l voice without charm and DS didn’t want to “enhance” it with artificial noise on the speakers. In turn, mechanics disappoint with a set lag time when you mash the accelerator pedal. Instead of an immediate impulse like in more powerful electric cars, the mechanics come on lazily before giving the expected male thrust. We have seen the best for driving water.
Comfort is evident in the meeting
However, we are very pleased with the wheel of this DS 9which does not forget to remain comfortable as befits a limousine. With its stronger suspension, the French seems to be a little softer than its sensible sisters. But without going into severity, especially since this 4×4 360 variant automatically comes with Active Adaptive Suspension. By selecting Comfort Mode, damping is controlled by a front camera that detects road irregularities. It’s great around town, even if, on bumpy roads, a few awkward body movements and recoil from the big wheels prompt you to switch to hybrid instead. This is also a frequently used driving mode. Because behind the advertisements of 47 kilometers of autonomy in 100% electricity according to the WLTP cycle, and 52 kilometers in the city, it is necessary to save a small battery of 11.9 kWh to exceed 40 kilometers without starting fuel. If the DS 9 catches your eye but you want to stay away from a charging station for long, you’ll have to turn to the latest E-Tense 250 variant, which claims 61/70 km (average/city) thanks to its 15.6 kWh battery. .
For others, this DS 9 4×4 360 remains this spacious luxury sedan, which overplays the counter dashboard where interesting accessories are mixed, the interior can be customized at will.. A unique person for this bad DS 9 that you should not meet often on the road due to its price as unique as its services, the “painful” one that starts at no less than €67,500.