Earlier this week I went to a Dongfeng dealer in Beijing to have a look at the brand new Dongfeng Fengshen A9, a new full-size sedan based on the PSA EMP2 platform that will also underpin the China-only Citroen C6 and Citroen DS9 sedans. First impressions: it is a huge vehicle with impressive build quality inside and out.
Sadly the only example they had inside was parked in the darkest corner of the showroom, making taking proper photographs a bit of a challenge.
Dongfeng Motor can use the platform because they are one of the largest shareholders in PSA. Companies also have the long-running Dongfeng-PSA joint venture that makes various Citroen and Peugeot branded cars for the Chinese market.
The Fengshen A9 will be powered by a PSA-sourced 1.8 liter ‘THP’ turbo with an output of 200hp and 280nm, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels.
Size: 5066/1858/1470, and wheelbase is 2900.
The Fengshen A9 will be launched on the Chinese car market on April 10 but the dealer was taking orders already. Price starts at 179.700 yuan and will end at 229.700 yuan, this particular example could go for 223.000 yuan. Staff told me they hadn’t sold any cars just yet.
The C6 will hit the market in September and the DS9 in late 2017.
The Dongfeng Fengshen A9 is by far the most expensive Dongfeng passenger car ever, and also miles away from the next-most expensive car; the Fengshen L60 which starts at 89.700 yuan and ends at 129.700 yuan.
The basic shape of the Citroen C6 will be exactly the same as the Dongfeng A9, as this official Citroen teaser shows. The C6 however will be a lot more expensive, even though it is made in the same factory, with the same engine and with the same size. Price for the C6 will start around 200.000 and end around 300.000 yuan. The difference is partly caused by the badge, a Citroen has more status than a Dongfeng, and partly because the Citroen will have a fancier interior with an all-digital instrument panel.
The interior looked top notch but this example didn’t have the wood-crazy dashboard we saw earlier on on another car.
Lots of space for the legs and a fancy arm rest with cup holders and a control panel for the aircon and the stereo, but there is no full fledged rear-seat entertainment system.
The screen seems big but the actual touch area is only 8 inch, it is also not very well integrated in the center stack, as if it was an afterthought.
Start button in black on the left side of the lever. Earlier on we saw the button in beige.
The trendy clock with the Aeolus name.
‘Aeolus’ used to be the official English translation of the Fengshen name, but we haven’t seen it for a long time. Staff at the dealer didn’t know why the name had made a come-back. It is probably just a nice nod to the past, but in China you never know, it is entirely possible they want to build a separate Aeolus luxury line or even a brand.
There was also a small badge on the right side of the dashboard, but the text was oddly spaced, with a lot of empty space on the right side of ‘S’. Wood looked and felt very good.
Rear lights are a bit too big for 2016 where smaller lights are the latest trend. There are two exhaust pipe tips but only the left one is real.
The Dongfeng logo with ‘Aeolus’ on the shiny strip.
The front is simply massive and seems very wide due to the many horizontal lines. Big grille wit six chrome bars and the logo in the middle. More shiny on the bumper with LED lights on each side.
Subtle spoiler in the boot lid.
Friendly staff then showed me a nice white example they had parked outside. Better than the black one I think, less massive at the front…
… and showing off the broad shoulder line much better.
And they also had a very dusty black car, parked on the other side of the street, some 200 meters away from the door of the dealer. It hadn’t been washed for at least a week! That’s no way to treat a new car…
The new Dongfeng Fengshen A9, soon to spawn a Citroen.