2012 Citroën Numéro 9 plug-in hybrid conceptEnlarge Photo
PSA Peugeot-Citroën Group has an upmarket brand called DS—the name is borrowed from the iconic Citroën DS introduced in 1955—that the French auto giant is hopeful will one day compete on the same level as Germany’s three major premium brands. At present, the DS brand consists of a handful of stylish compacts, most of which are offered exclusively in China where PSA is looking to grow sales.
To be a credible premium brand, DS will need more prestigious models in its lineup, something it seems the brand is well aware of. According to a new report, a flagship model to be called the DS8 is coming in 2018.
Automotive News (subscription required), citing an anonymous source, is reporting that the DS8 will initially launch in China but will eventually be offered in other markets where the DS brand has been established. This means we’re unlikely to see the car in the United States.
The DS8 is expected to feature styling inspired by the lines of the original Citroën DS as well as recent DS-badged concepts like 2012’s Numéro 9 and 2014’s Devine DS. Underpinning the car will likely be PSA’s EMP2 modular platform found in cars like the Golf-rivaling Peugeot 308. However, the DS8 is expected to be a mid-size sedan rivaling the likes of the Audi A6.
The DS brand is PSA CEO Carlos Tavares’ key weapon to boosting profits, thanks to the higher margins on premium models. It sits at the top of a three-tiered brand hierarchy with Citroën serving as the mainstream brand at the bottom of the hierarchy and Peugeot as the sporty, near-premium brand in the center.