LIVING WITH DS 7 CROSSBACK

Mark Preston is team principal of DS TECHEETAH Formula E Team so we thought he’d be the ideal person to try out DS 7 CROSSBACK. He reveals how wireless mobile phone charging, avoiding bike-riding students and a ‘spooky’ parking experience made a big impression on him.

“I’ve always worked in the automotive and motorsport industries and relish the chance to try new technologies and vehicles. As soon as I took delivery of my DS 7 CROSSBACK for the week, I got to know it by driving into central London to collect my visa for the Formula E races in Hong Kong and Sanya in China. As you may know, parking in London’s tiny underground car parks is never easy. But DS PARK PILOT made it a lot less nerve wracking than I’ve ever known it.

You simply push a button and DS 7 CROSSBACK does the rest. It was a bit spooky as it reversed into the parking bay by itself, the steering wheel whirling away without me touching it. But I have to say, it parked better than I ever could! And the more I used it, the more it impressed me."

Premium features

"During the time I spent with DS 7 CROSSBACK I came to appreciate its premium features. The seats glide back electrically to make getting behind the wheel that little bit easier. They then slide into your pre-programmed position when you start the engine.

 

I also loved the leather upholstery of the seats styled like a watch strap and the stitching that looks like tiny pearls. A particularly nice touch for a car conceived in Paris was that even the air vents reminded me of the Louvre museum."

Staying safe

"Then there were the little luxuries such as heated seats. These are a must for me in the UK on cold winter mornings. The same goes for automatic temperature control. It’s a bit like top racing drivers: the fitter they are, the more bandwidth they have to focus on other areas of driving. My view is that if a car is doing the mundane stuff for me, I can concentrate more on what really matters ‑ staying safe on the road.

 

One of the acid tests of a car for me is how well my smartphone connects to it. You’d think it’s something we should take for granted but not all cars do it seamlessly. DS 7 CROSSBACK does. And it won extra points from me for having a dedicated space where my smart phone could live while being charged wirelessly. Very cool indeed.

 

The headlights that follow the steering are a clever nod to the original DS and actually very useful on the small streets around Oxford and London. And they’re a great safety feature on country roads that don’t have cats’ eyes or other markings."

DS CONNECTED PILOT

"A few years ago, I started an autonomous car company called StreetDrone so I was particularly looking forward to experimenting with DS 7 CROSSBACK’s ADAS features. DS CONNECTED PILOT is an innovative system featuring Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop&Go. To my surprise I could run the ACC down to a halt following the car in front. If the car stopped, it applied the brake. It would even drive off automatically, within three seconds or after a quick tap on the accelerator, and return to the speed I’d set. It made the stop-start traffic on the way into London a breeze!

DS CONNECTED PILOT also uses an on-board camera to read the road markings and guide DS 7 CROSSBACK’s trajectory to ensure you stay between road markings. And although I always felt like I was in control, it’s incredibly reassuring to know the car’s got everything in hand if your attention is diverted for a second or two by changing radio stations.

Driving home through Oxford with bike riding students pouring out of the pubs, the optional DS NIGHT VISION worked brilliantly. Cyclists in Oxford quite often don’t have lights on their bikes and DS NIGHT VISION always picked them up, which was reassuring – for them as well as me!”