- Published in Vehicle Development.
Bringing back the DS name has been a success for Citroën. The carmaker’s B-segment DS3 is competing strongly against vehicles such as the Mini, while the larger DS4 is also faring well.
But the latest vehicle in the line-up, the DS5, has a much tougher position. It is competing against cars such as the VW Passat and Opel Insignia as well as more luxurious vehicles such as the Audi A4. But it also has to differentiate itself from the Citroën C5 sedan.
It’s a difficult segment but one which Pierre Monferrini, the DS5’s project manager, is confident the vehicle will succeed in, especially as he doesn’t necessarily see other D-segment vehicles as direct competitors.
“The DS5 is a new concept, so for the moment we don’t have any real competitors because we’re slightly above the traditional segment,” he says. “We didn’t target one particular vehicle during benchmarking, but we wanted to make a car which brings something new for the customers, and which is very different from the Citroën C5.”
The project began in 2008, three years after the Citroën C-SportLounge was shown at the IAA motor show in Frankfurt. “The C-SportLounge was very well-appreciated by people at the motor show and in our customer tests, because it was both sporty and practical. It was one step ahead of the competition,” says Monferrini.
Transferring the concept design to a series production vehicle was a challenge for Monferrini and his engineers. The DS5 uses PSA’s platform 2, but modified to increase the track width front and rear to 1,582mm and 1,610mm respectively.
“We wanted to introduce our diesel-hybrid technology, so using platform 2 was a prerequisite,” says Monferrini. “We’ve also done a lot of work to improve noise, vibration and harshness within the cabin.”
Hybrid technology is helping PSA to reduce its CO2 emissions across its vehicle fleet, and was first introduced on the Peugeot 3008 MPV. Many consumers may still expect a V6 gasoline engine in the line-up, but the diesel-hybrid technology has allowed PSA to offer similar performance from a much more efficient powertrain set-up.
“If you look at sales figures, the number of V6 gasoline engines are decreasing. And, with future CO2 emissions regulations, that number will decrease even further. So instead we have a 150kW hybrid system,” says Monferrini. The hybrid system is identical to that used in the 3008. It consists of a 2-litre diesel engine that produces 120kW of power and 300Nm of torque, linked to a six-speed automated manual transmission. There is also an 8.5kW motor for the stop-start function. At the rear is a 27kW/200Nm electric motor and a 34kW nickel-metal-hydride battery.
The motor, battery, power electronics and multilink suspension are on a rear subframe. This assembly is bolted to the vehicle in place of the standard rear axle.
The system has reduced CO2 emissions to 99g/100km, but performance is still adequate with a 0-100km/h time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 210km/h.
Other engines in the line-up include a 1,598cc four-cylinder turbocharged direct injection gasoline unit that produces 147kW/275Nm, emitting 155g/km CO2.