There are no French automakers selling cars in America, but plenty here in China: Renault, Peugeot, and Citroën each have displays at the Beijing Motor Show. The latter, Citroën, plans to expand its offerings here by bringing the DS line of cars — DS3, DS4, DS5 — from Europe to China. And to help kick-start momentum for those cars in this market, Citroën is showing off the Numéro 9 concept in Beijing.
Taken literally, the “Number Nine” name seems to imply that this car will join the DS range as the DS9. However, the company says that this attractive concept car merely demonstrates the styling cues of a future DS-line sedan, SUV, and executive sedan all rolled into one. With a long, low, and wide design, the car’s raked design initially reminds us of a stretched Volkswagen Scirocco.
The concept car was hidden in a dark corner of Citroën’s stand, rotating on a turntable beneath an elaborate white chandelier. It was just adjacent from an original and immaculately maintained Citroën DS23. Though the Numéro 9 is definitely more modern and a much more elaborate design than the old-school DS, the long nose, sloped roof, and basic silhouette show a family link between the DS23 and today’s Numéro 9 concept car.
Design flair includes 21-inch wheels, buttress-style A-pillars meant to reduce drag, a steeply raked and tapering rear window, and an aggressive C-shaped rear spoiler. A plug-in hybrid powertrain can return a 0-to-62-mph run of just 5.4 seconds, or economy equivalent to 138 mpg. The show car has a 225-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine and a 70-hp electric motor.