Now this one is a bit of a surprise. Say hello to DS Automobiles’ flagship sedan, the DS9. The D-segment sedan is essentially a luxed-up version of the latest Peugeot 508, which has already been seen making its rounds in West Malaysia.

However, it is currently unclear if the handsome Frenchie will even be launched here. At the time of writing, DS Automobiles has yet to appoint an official distributor for the Malaysian market. Prior to this, the brand custodian (and sole distributor) was Naza Euro Motors, but the contract has since lapsed.

Right now, all eyes are on Berjaya Auto Alliance (BAASB), which is the newly appointed Malaysian distributor for Peugeot. In December 2020, BAASB formally announced that it obtained the rights to provide aftersales and spare parts for the Citroën and DS brands. But so far, nothing has been said on the retail side of things, not yet at least. In any case, time will tell.

Back to the DS9. Unveiled back in February 2020, it sits on a new version of the PSA Group’s EMP2 architecture. The spy photo doesn’t quite manage to convey the sheer size of the car, but it measures 4.93 metres long and 1.85 metres wide. To give you some perspective, that is about the size of the W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class (4,923 mm long, 1,852 mm wide).

In terms of style, the DS9 is very classy, sprinkled with just the right amount of chrome. The fascia features DS wings, a parametric design grille with 3D diamond effect, and a Clous de Paris sabre on the bonnet. The door handles also sit flush against the door, while the roof gently tapers towards the boot.

Being a flagship, the cabin looks like it’s entirely wrapped with cow hide. Depending on the trip, the dashboard gets fully covered with Nappa leather, whereas the roof lining and sun visors are wrapped with Alcantara. Other interesting cues are design of the seats and crystal-shaped touch-sensitive buttons.

With a lengthy 2.9-metre wheelbase, the rear quarters of the DS9 is rather spacious. In other markets, the seats are heated and cooled, and even offers massaging function (a first in the class, it seems). The rear central armrest has leather, storage areas with built-in USB ports, controls for the massaging seats and multi-coloured welcome lighting. A specially-made 14-speaker Focal Electra sound system is icing on the cake.

There are three powertrain options available, starting with the base 1.6 PureTech that offers 225 hp and 300 Nm. Should the DS9 make it to market, this should be the likeliest option. An eight-speed automatic sends drive to the front wheels, helping it do the century sprint in 8.1 seconds before hitting the 236 km/h limiter.

Above that is the mid-spec 1.6 PureTech E-Tense plug-in hybrid with 225 hp and 360 Nm of torque. This is slower in the century dash (8.3 seconds) because of its weight, but its 11.9 kWh battery pack provides up to 48 km of range on a full charge.

The top-of-the-line 1.6 Pure Tech E-Tense 4×4 Automatic is pretty much the same as the Peugeot 508 PSE. The same 1.6L engine is used, but it’s augmented with two electric motors to produce a total system output of 360 hp and 520 Nm of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, and though its 0-100 km/h time isn’t public knowledge, the 508 PSE does it in 5.2 seconds. Nice.

Again, it remains to be seen if the DS9 will be launched here. Seeing it being driven around with trade plates does get our hopes up, so maybe it’s just a question of when the flagship sedan and DS3 Crossback will be introduced. What do you think?