Right now it’s a fun time to speculate on the impending Fiat Chrysler/PSA merger. PSA has been on a bit of a roll debuting a pickup truck last week that could definitely become a Ram Dakota. Now it’s showing off its newest sedan for 2021, a somewhat straightforward and generic Citroen spinoff known as DS. In its present form, it has no Chrysler cues and would probably land with a thud in the US. But, with revised styling could we be seeing the next Chrysler 300?
The DS could become a great Chrysler 300 with a bit of spice and more power
The current Chrysler 300 has been around for 34 years. At least that’s what it seems like. It really debuted in 2004. That’s a long time. But with the merger coming up we wonder what possibilities these new, unknown-to-the-US vehicles might be morphed into. Trying to sell this as a “DS sedan” in the US would be a disappointing exercise for PSA. But as something sexed up by the Fiat Chrysler design staff, and called something recognizable like “Chrysler 300” it could be a hit.
DS is PSA’s luxury brand. Loaded with state-of-the-art tech and a luxurious interior it would be an impressive Chrysler 300 save for the bland exterior. An array of leather interiors are available. Under the hood is a plug-in hybrid engine that is turbocharged. With 225 hp and an electric range of 31 miles it won’t burn down any barns, but most luxury sedans don’t. A 360 hp all-wheel-drive version will be released in the next year or two which would be looked at more favorably in the US.
The days of raging 15-year-old sedans have to end someday at Fiat Chrysler
We’re sure that a company with widebody 700 hp sedans prowling around Detroit can spice up the rather mundane-looking DS. Would this be a worthy replacement for the shopworn 300 in its current form? You knew at some point the days of raging sedans from Fiat Chrysler would have to end. Fiat Chrysler has higher aspirations for the Maserati brand and this DS isn’t it. But as a slightly downmarket 300 well, who knows?
The active suspension gets this sedan down the road. Predictive sensors can adjust the dampers to handle what lies ahead. At night the DS can literally see in the dark and project what it sees on the instrument cluster.
The rich interior can be customized with different combos of leather, Alcantara, mood lighting, and trim choices. It’s called “DS Inspirations” in Europe where the DS goes on sale in July. Two digital displays and a 14-speaker audio system are also part of the package.
The DS had no plans to be sold in the US, Canada, and Mexico before the merger talks
Driver-assist systems are abundant in the DS. Level 2 semi-autonomous operation, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and lane-keep assist are all there. A comprehensive driver alert system senses driver attention or lack thereof.
As originally developed before the merger was ever a thought the DS would not be sold in the US, Canada, or Mexico. Those are all areas ripe for added market share. With Fiat Chrysler having an extensive network of dealers in those countries it would be natural to plug the DS into them. But not as a DS with no brand recognition.
Sedans are selling. Just ask Tesla, BMW, and Audi. They just have to be the right mix of tech, styling, and some luxury mixed with power. With the right changes, the DS could fit that MO well.