PARIS -- DS Automobiles is re-entering the compact segment with the DS 4, a high-riding hatchback that will be built at an Opel factory in Germany.
The hatchback will be available in three distinct trim versions and with an optional plug-in hybrid powertrain.
It is the first vehicle built on a new version of PSA Group's EMP2 platform for compact and midsize vehicles, which allows for a plug-in hybrid powertrain but not a full-electric one.
The DS 4 will go on sale in the fourth quarter. It will be built in Ruesselsheim at Opel's home factory where the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia midsize model is produced. The plant will add production of the new Opel Astra in the summer.
DS did not release prices, but the DS 4 is expected to compete with the Audi A3, BMW 1 and 2 Series and Mercedes A- and B-Class models. The Mercedes A-Class is the premium compact segment leader in Europe, with 158,170 sales in 2020, according to JATO Dynamics.
Prices in France for the A Class, which is available in a wide range of configurations, including a sedan version, range from 28,900 euros ($34,760) to more than 70,000 euros for an AMG performance version. A plug-in hybrid A Class hatchback starts at 39,750 euros.
DS executives, including brand CEO Beatrice Foucher, product director Marion David and design director Thierry Metroz, showed the pre-production DS 4 at an event in Paris on Wednesday. Some details about the car were released in December.
The DS 4 intentionally blurs the line between a traditional hatchback and an SUV/crossover, David said, adding that it complements the DS 7 compact SUV in the brand’s range.
"We wanted to appeal to premium C-segment hatchback customers and also to C-segment SUV customers," David told Automotive News Europe. "It's kind of a balance between the both. We wanted to have the driving pleasure of a hatchback but also the same attractiveness as a C-SUV coupe."
Metroz and DS designers said the DS 4 has drawn much of its inspiration from the Aero Sport Lounge concept, a coupe-styled four-door crossover. Like the Aero Sport Lounge, the DS 4 has long, vertical front running lights, narrow horizontal headlights and a steeply raked windshield.
The DS 4 is 4400 mm (173 inches) long, 1830 mm wide and 1470 mm high. It rides on 19- or 20-inch wheels.
It will be available in three trim versions: a base model, called simply DS 4; a DS 4 Cross, with SUV styling cues such as black trim, roof bars. Advanced traction control and hill descent assist are available as options. A Performance Line version has black trim, alloy wheels and a specific interior.