It was back in January last year that DS Automobiles Malaysia hinted at the possible debut of the DS3 Crossback, which will join the DS7 Crossback and DS5 in the local line-up. There’s not been much news on the matter since then, but it looks like this could finally become a reality.

The compact crossover was recently spotted in Penang by paultan.org reader Adam Hasrol, suggesting that the plan is still in motion. However, there are still some questions involving the DS brand here, especially in regards to distributorship.

If you remember, Groupe PSA announced back in December 2020 that it has awarded sole distributorship of its Peugeot brand in Malaysia to Berjaya Auto Alliance (BAASB). The official release at the time stated that the deal does not include the distributorship of the Citroën and DS brands, with the local consortium only obtaining the rights to provide aftersales and spare parts.

As such, there is a possibility that this particular unit was brought in before the transition, although the exact plans for the DS and Citroen brands going forward remain unknown for now.

Getting back to the car itself, the DS3 Crossback was first unveiled in September and replaces the previous DS3, which was also known as the Citroen DS3 before DS Automobiles became a standalone brand in 2015.

Featuring a funky design that inside and out, the lightly camouflaged unit you see before you appears to dressed up in “Grand Chic” trim, if we refer to DS’ French website configurator. Highlights include plenty of chrome accents on the exterior, twin tailpipes, a bright leather interior, along with a set of 18-inch “Shanghai” alloy wheels.

The crossover is available with petrol and diesel engines alongside a new E-Tense fully electric version. The 1.2L PureTech three-cylinder petrol engines come in 100 PS, 130 PS and 155 PS forms; while the 1.5L BlueHDi diesel can be had in 130 PS and 100 PS outputs. Europeans can choose from an eight-speed auto and a six-speed manual, with AWD available.

Meanwhile, the E-Tense setup sports a 136 PS (100 kW)/260 Nm e-motor powered by a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery under the floor. A full charge is done in five hours when the vehicle is plugged into a dedicated 11-kW AC wallbox (Type 2). Plugging the car into a 100-kW public DC fast charger (CCS) for 30 minutes will see the battery hit 80% charge. A range of 300 km is touted, along with a 0-100 km/h time of 8.7 seconds.

GALLERY: DS3 Crossback