DS4 Prestige THP 210 S&S 6-speed manual: Race With The Devil

A couple of weeks ago MotorMartin posted, DS4 Prestige THP 210 S&S 6-speed manual: One Of A Kind, where time was spent discussing the incredible styling that DS had adorned their DS4 Prestige with and how that design work continues once seated in the luxurious cabin. Extras such as the immense, optional 19″ matt grey diamond-cut ‘CAIRNS’ that adorned the model on test, created an aggressive look that when combined with the pearlescent white paint and Perla Nera Black Contrast Pack, left an impression that was difficult to shift. Part 1 finished with the following: 

Perhaps the last word for Part 1 of DS4 Prestige THP 210 S&S 6-speed manual: One Of A Kind should be left to DS themselves as they summed it up best when they shared with MotorMartin that: DS is defined by unique style and comfort delivered through refinement, attention to detail and technology. These elements are combined in an individually desirable way in each model.

And in MotorMartin’s opinion, those sentiments perfectly sum up the DS4. But now it’s time to move on and look in more depth at the superb engine that defines this Prestige model as much as any styling. The THP 210 S&S, 1598, 4 cylinder petrol engine is an absolute delight. I think what surprises most is that first time you plant your foot through the carpet and the DS4 launches itself up the road with the power of 210 horses, a figure which, rather coincidently, is the exact compliment of horsepower produced at 6000rpm. The figure of 210bhp doesn’t sound that much when compared to some of the rather more excessively powered hot hatches around these days but believe me, it’s more than enough to raise the hackles of all but the most inanimate of driver.

It’s the way that the DS is able to put that power to the tarmac that’s so impressive as the 6 speed manual transmission allows for the correct ratio to be chosen, one that perfectly matches revs to road speed. The gear lever has a relatively short throw which accentuates it’s sporting feel and yet the DS4 is more than capable of keeping it’s wilder nature perfectly in check during everyday traffic and commuting. Unlike some motors I could mention, you don’t get the feeling that the DS only works in the higher reaches of the rev range as it is still as comfortable to drive at 2/10s as it is at 10. A 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds gives you some idea of the acceleration available when the mood dictates whilst a top speed of 146mph is surely enough for all that intend to stick purely to the roads rather than the track. What the DS4 gives you when pressing on is a quite incredible visceral and aural feast. 

Watching the, rather amazing, blue highlighted rev counter swing rapidly around the outside edge of the dial whilst listening to the induction roar from somewhere up ahead is an absolute pleasure and one that MotorMartin loved. Despite earlier suggestions that the DS4 is a really quite excellent commuting car, which it most certainly is, the THP 210 S&S engine has such character, presence and power that it presents itself as a more than equal partner to the innovative and exciting styling on offer.

And MotorMartin loves the whole driving experience on offer from the DS, the steering is light and yet still delivers an astonishing amount of feel, almost as if the front wheels are connected directly to the driver, allowing you to accurately place the DS4 wherever you want to be on the road. The clever part though is that whist the ride stands on the sporting side of the fence it is certainly not uncomfortable transmitting, as it does, enough feedback to let you know what the car is doing underneath you but not enough of the roads imperfections to present you with an uncomfortable ride. A brilliant compromise in MotorMartin’s opinion.

Now MotorMartin’s already mentioned the blue lighting of the dials directly in front of the driver but that doesn’t quite do justice to their effect on the interior of this rather special car. One can only imagine how many hours were spent during the design process where the correct hue of blue was carefully discussed before being chosen and you know what? All of that procrastination has had such a positive effect on how you feel about the cabin as the time spent on an area where, let’s be honest here, you spend the vast majority of your time looking at, reaps serious rewards over time. In fact the longer MotorMartin spent driving the DS4 Prestige, the more I liked those dials and how they showed, yet again, that the attention to detail lavished on the exterior of this French Fancy is perfectly mirrored on the interior as well. Impressive indeed.

Looking around the interior reveals further gems, such as the centrally-mounted 7-inch colour touch screen which allows you to control many of the major functions in the new DS4 which, DS say, is a safe, intuitive way of accessing items such as satellite navigation and smart phone connectivity. The touchscreen also controls the car’s various settings, enabling you to set the car up to be just how you like it.

DS have also shared with MotorMartin that they have deliberately simplified the steering wheel controls so you can manage some functions without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road. Two rollers, one under each thumb, operate the cruise control and speed limiter on one side, the sound system and phone on the other, another example, in MotorMartin’s opinion of how the DS is designed to work out here in MotorMartin’s ‘real life’ motoring world, rather than just the track. 

Summing up the DS4 is relatively easy, it’s a cut above the more traditional hatchback offerings from other, dare I say, more mainstream manufacturers and this really shows with an interior and exterior that prove that design and form can mix to create something really rather special. With an engine that provides ample and accessible power, a gearbox that allows you to feel each and every change and a chassis that allows you to exploit all of the considerable potential bubbling under the surface of the DS as well as providing a more relaxing experience for the more day to day duties, this car really does represent the driver with an easy choice.

MotorMartin loves it. 

Where will you go?

Leave a Reply