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New 2021 DS 4 plug-in hybrid: tech details revealed

Next-generation DS 4 set to get hi-tech interior and a PHEV version with 30-mile electric range

  • Styling teased
  • Part of DS’ expansion plans
  • Due on sale in late 2021

A new DS 4 is arriving in late 2021 and the French brand has now revealed some of the features that will be available. The new car, which will be DS’ third SUV, looks set to be very hi-tech, both in terms of driver assistance features and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Prices are likely to start from around £28,000.

2021 DS 4 styling

Sitting between the DS 3 and DS 7 Crossback SUVs, the DS 4 will set its sights on premium small crossovers like the Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC40. While the camouflage wrap applied to prototypes makes it look a little similar to the new Vauxhall Mokka, the DS 4 will be bigger than the Corsa-based Mokka and sit on a different platform, namely the EMP2 platform that underpins the latest Citroen C4.

Through the camouflage, we can make out slim headlights like the ones you’d find on the DS 7, and DS’ diamond motifs are visible in the rear lights. A sloping roofline tapers down to a sharply styled rear end but it looks like the rear window will be quite small. What is clear is that the new DS 4 will introduce opening rear windows - strangely, the last car had fixed rear windows, which was one of its disappointing features.

This image, taken from the DS website, shows aspects of how the powertrain works but it may also hint at the styling. The swooping coupe-like roofline and rising window-line seem to match the prototype model, and it looks like the DS 4 will get 3D tail-lights inspired by the C4.

Technology

The brand’s teaser images focus on some of the technology set to be fitted in the new DS 4. One such innovation is an ‘extended’ head-up display, which makes it look like information is projected four metres ahead of the car. The DS ‘Iris System’ allows configurable driver profiles to be loaded as soon as someone gets into the driver’s seat, while the touchscreen responds to handwriting, gesture control and natural voice commands. System updates happen over-the-air.

Driver assistance tech is also a big focus; you’ll be able to specify Level 2 semi-autonomous driving ability, plus active suspension that uses cameras to scan for imperfections in the road ahead. An infrared camera in the grille enables ‘night vision’, as it can recognise pedestrians and animals up to 200m in front of the car. Matrix LED headlights, which offer full-beam brightness without blinding other drivers, are available too. These have a light range of up to 300m and specific modes for town, country and motorway driving, plus poor weather and fog.

The warning sticker on this prototype mentions a lithium-ion battery but the exhaust pipe and grilles give away that it’s a plug-in hybrid model. DS has confirmed that it’ll use the 222bhp powertrain currently fitted to the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense and Peugeot 3008 Hybrid, which comes with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and front-wheel drive. A 30-mile electric range is promised, and the brand says the powertrain doesn’t compromise usability or boot space.

Petrol and, probably, diesel engines will join the plug-in hybrid variant. The PSA Group’s common 1.2 and 1.6-litre petrol engines, with 128bhp and 178bhp respectively, are the most likely options, while the Group’s 1.5 and 2.0-litre diesel engines produce the same power figures. A fully electric version may appear, given the availability of an electric Citroen e-C4, and it would compete against the BMW iX1 and Volkswagen ID.4.

The last DS 4 came as standard and Crossback versions, with the latter said to be a little more crossover-like. If that’s replicated this time around, we’d expect the Crossback to look more rugged and have a taller ride height. A DS 9 luxury saloon is also in the pipeline.

See where the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense sits on our list of the best electric SUVs.

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