Sedans are still a big deal (the longer the better) in China, and an upstart luxury brand like PSA’s DS Automobiles cannot afford to miss opportunities in the world’s largest car market.
Earlier this year we brought you two images that revealed the design of the upcoming DS 9 premium fastback sedan and now we can show you the first spy shots of the new model taken in Europe.
Spied undergoing hot weather testing in southern Spain, the DS 9 is fully wrapped in camouflage, yet does not seem to feature any padding to disguise its shape. This means we’re dealing with the final production bodywork, and the same goes for the finalized headlights and taillights.
Furthermore, the design of the lights and the hexagonal shape of the grille are consistent with the images that came from China earlier this year. While there’s little doubt regarding this model’s identity, we can only make assumptions regarding its presence in Europe.
DS Automobiles has not confirmed yet that the flagship sedan will be offered in Europe, but the fact that testing takes place in the region suggests the DS 9 will become available for European customers following its debut in China.
The DS 9 is built on PSA’s EMP2 platform that also underpins the Peugeot 508 — including the 508 L long-wheelbase version. Speaking of the 508 L, the DS 9 is expected to share the same 2,848 mm (112 in) wheelbase with the China-only model, offering generous legroom and knee room for rear passengers.
DS’ flagship sedan will therefore measure around 4.9 meters (193 inches) in length, making it similar to other long-wheelbase premium sedans sold in China by European carmakers: the Audi A4 L, BMW 3 Series Li, Jaguar XE L, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class L. This means the DS 9 will not go against executive saloons such as the Audi A6 L, BMW 5 Series Li, Jaguar XF L, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class L.
The DS 9 will first launch in China (where it will also be built) later this year, with a likely European debut expected in 2020. European-spec models should offer a range of gasoline and diesel engines, as well as a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Note: A previous version of this article stated that the car’s name was DS 8; the story has been updated with the DS 9 nameplate as confirmed by recent patent photos from China