Legendary French automaker Citroen began resurrecting its venerable DS series a few years ago - the original line debuted in the 1950s, had a two-decade-long run, and was once voted "the most beautiful car of all time" - and is now introducing three more new takes on the DS into China, one of the largest and fastest-growing markets ever. The second coming of the DS began in 2009 with the DS3 and has since been followed by the DS4 and DS5. Now, three more models in the line will be launched later this year, and Citroen will be marking the event by unveiling its Numéro 9 concept at the Beijing Motor Show later this month.

"The concept signals the styling cues of the next three DS line models: a C-segment premium sedan, an SUV and a D-segment executive saloon," Citroen said in a statement.

The new DS vehicles have almost nothing in common with their classic cousins except for the badge and two consonants, but Citroen is hoping that legacy continues to count for something. So far it's helped account for 200,000 sales of the DS3, DS4 and DS5 worldwide.

Externally, the Numéro 9 concept goes out of its way to communicate a sense of luxury, slickness and speed. It clearly is the same vehicle we recently discovered in some obscured photos on the company's Facebook page. Citroen likes to describe the car's look as "a new take on the prestigious shooting brake design."

The concept for the future of the DS line is also based on a plug-in hybrid system that claims 166 mpg (267 km/g) fuel economy, 31 miles (50 km) range in full-electric mode and 295 hp. It rides low to the ground on 21-inch (53 cm) wheels and promises a roomy interior in the front and back with three small windows in the roof for "friendly cabin ambience."

As in many luxury hybrids, the electric motor can also be utilized to provide a boost of power. Citroen says Numéro 9 takes just 5.4 seconds to go from 0 to 62 mph and 25.3 seconds to travel 1,000 m from a standing start.

For more on the storied lineage of DS line, be sure to check out Mike Hanlon's recent post that traces its path through the decades.

Citroen also offers a peek of the Numéro 9 concept in action in this video trailer:

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