Aston Martin has finally revealed its DBX SUV, after teasing its existence for some years, and releasing images of disguised prototypes.
Aston Martin began the DBX development programme in 2015, with a clean-sheet design. As Aston Martin had no vehicles that could act as a donor, the platform is unique to this model. This also allowed each department to innovate where it could.
The Aston Martin design language is present, with a familiar grille and feature lines, door handles that are flush with the bodywork, and a rear spoiler in the tailgate reminiscent of the Vantage’s rear. The daytime running lights have a duct which channels air through the front wheel arches, cooling the brakes, before moving down the sides, reducing drag and lift. Its aerodynamics allow the rear window to self-clean while the car moves.
The engine—a four-litre V8—is the one item that is familiar, adapted from the unit found in the DB11 and Vantage. It develops 550 PS and 700 Nm of torque. The DBX reaches 100 km/h in 4·5 s, with a top speed of 291 km/h (181 mph). It has cylinder deactivation to aid fuel economy. Transmission is through a nine-speed gearbox, and the all-wheel drive system has active differentials and an electronic rear limited slip differential.
Like Aston Martin’s sport models, the DBX uses bonded aluminium, keeping the kerb weight low (2,245 kg) while maintaining a strong structure.
Adaptive air suspension is mated to a 48 V electric anti-roll control system and electronic adaptive dampers. The DBX’s spring stiffness can vary, thanks to the air suspension’s triple chambers, making the vehicle a capable driver’s car with limited body roll.
The DBX’s ride height can be raised by 45 mm or lowered by 50 mm, allowing it to cope with different terrain, and entry, exit and loading requirements.
Enter through the DBX’s frameless doors and the cabin reveals full-grain leather sourced from Bridge of Weir. Headlining and the roof blind are available in Alcantara, while the DBX features a full-length panoramic roof. The centre console is “bridged”, giving space below for storage. The central screen is 10¼ in, while the driver has a 12·3-inch screen in the dashboard. Boot space is a healthy 632 l, while its rear seat can be split 40–20–40.
As Aston Martin’s first SUV, various luxury packages are on offer. The Pet package has a portable washer—one wouldn’t want a dirty animal spoiling the interior. The Snow package features boot warmers.
The DBX will be built at a new plant in St Athan, Wales. The first 500 owners will receive a 1913 Package, featuring a commemorative plaque, among other features, to signal their early adoption. They will also receive a build book signed by Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer and chief creative officer Marek Reichman, and an invitation to a regional Waldorf-Astoria cocktail party.
Prices begin at £158,000 in the UK, €193,500 in Germany, and US$189,900 in the US. Deliveries begin in the second quarter of 2020.
Aston Martin is the latest in a line of sports’ car manufacturers who have released SUVs, in recognition of the popularity of the segment. Porsche, Maserati and Lamborghini have been among those who have launched luxury sporting SUVs this century.