China is a magnet for the auto industry, attracted to its growing consumer population and lack of established leaders in the numerous car segments. At this year’s Shanghai Motor Show, French automaker Peugeot Citroen threw its figurative hat into the green car ring.
Citroen’s offering is the DS Wild Rubis. A concept vehicle, the so-called “Wild Rubis” is a mid-sized crossover that looks to take on rivals like the Audi Q5 and BMW X5. The automaker annoyingly kept details under lock-and-key until the debut at the show, with those in-the-know actually honoring any embargo to keep quiet.
The Rubis is part of the DS lineup, which is composed of the DS3, DS4, DS5, and the stunning Numéro 9 concept car. As you can see from the image, it’s a handsome vehicle, with styling cues borrowing heavily from both the Q5 and X5. Unlike its German counterparts, the Rubis greenhouse, which is composed of the windshield, side and rear windows, and roof, is positioned further back relative to the rest of the vehicle’s lower body and wheels. This gives the Rubis a longer, almost wagon-like, appearance. It’s also bigger than pictures show; the wheels are a massive 26-inches, for example.
The Wild Rubis is, of course, a hybrid. Engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged gas engine (not diesel) mated to an electric motor. Engine provides around 225 horsepower while the motor adds 70. The crossover’s a plug-in electric vehicle, and can travel up to 31 miles before on strict electricity. Interestingly, the Rubis’ gas engine is not connected to the rear wheels: those are strictly motivated by the motor. Thus, only the back tires are pushing crossover when in pure EV mode. When necessary, all four wheels can be engaged to provide all-wheel-drive control and traction.
Citroen has been mum if the DS Wild Rubis concept will go into production and, if so, what area of the world. Buzz in the autosphere is giving the crossover a thumb’s up, and expectations are high that a production version of the Rubis will debut in the not-so-distant future.