Aston Martin has released new details about its incoming SUV, confirming the DBX will be revealed on 20 November, and cost from £158,000 in the UK when sales commence next year.
Unlike most of its rivals, Aston Martin has gone to the extreme lengths of engineering its own, bespoke aluminium-intensive chassis specifically for the DBX, rather than basing its SUV on a shared or modular platform like that found underneath the Lamborghini Urus or Porsche Cayenne.
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The initial powertrain that’ll be found in the DBX is the same AMG-sourced M177 engine that is currently used in the DB11 V8 and Vantage, but tuned to suit the DBX’s more relaxed gait. Despite this, the numbers are actually comparable to both of those models, with power at 542bhp (up 39bhp on the Vantage and DB11) and a peak torque figure of 516lb ft (up 11lb ft). The difference will lie in new mapping and calibration work done by Aston Martin’s engineers to produce a less highly-strung character for the DBX, with more power and torque available earlier in the rev range. Aston has also released a video including a sample of the car’s engine sound by way of a teaser.
Aston Martin has also partially revealed the DBX’s interior, showing a five-seater cabin that takes aesthetic reference from other models. Sitting atop the dash are the essential Aston Martin transmission selector buttons, while the layered leather and broguing, metallic touchpoints and high-set centre console reinforce this connection to models such as the Vantage and DB11.
Aston Martin Lagonda CEO Andy Palmer said: ‘This is an exciting time for Aston Martin Lagonda. Our second luxury manufacturing facility is now producing cars and is ready to go into full production in H1 2020. Our facilities and manufacturing teams, led by VP and chief manufacturing operations officer Keith Stanton, have done an outstanding job in getting the factory ready almost a year before full production starts, on time and on budget.’
As part of Aston Martin’s expansion, the electric Lagonda sub-brand should also inject some of its hybridisation know-how back into the Aston Martin range, leading to a hybridised DBX later in the model’s life cycle.
Aston Martin's new manufacturing facility in St Athan, Wales has already begun pre-production of the DBX SUV, with prototypes having been shown off in Welsh forests, frigid snow and on the ubiquitous Nordschleife undergoing its exhaustive testing regime. The red car you see here is much closer to the production model, proven by the production-standard lighting units and polyurethane bumpers, and represents the final phase of testing the DBX has finally entered.
Aston Martin Lagonda CEO, Andy Palmer continued: 'This is an exciting time for Aston Martin Lagonda. Our second luxury manufacturing facility is now producing cars and is ready to go into full production in H1 2020. Our facilities and manufacturing teams, led by VP and Chief Manufacturing Operations Officer Keith Stanton have done an outstanding job in getting the factory ready almost a year before full production starts, on time and on budget.'
We can instantly see that this will be a four-door, two-box (or sorts) SUV with a sloping rear roofline and high-waisted windowline. The overall shape is much sleeker than many high-end SUV rivals such as the Bentley Bentayga, having a profile more akin to the Maserati Levante or BMW X6.
Of course, like all luxury SUVs, the DBX’s key deliverable will be to offer a hugely varied skill set; needing to be as happy on the challenging dirt roads of Wales (as seen here) as it is belting up and down the autobahns in Germany at high speed. Aston Martin has focused on this duality of purpose, ensuring that like no Aston Martin before, towing, off-roading driving and hauling a week’s worth of luggage is all possible.
Chassis guru Matt Becker has also had an important role in the initial phases of development, ensuring that the DBX still feels like an Aston Martin to drive on the road, where most will doubtless spend a majority of their time.
The new Aston Martin DBX will be revealed in full this December, with sales starting next year. As well as the DBX quite possibly being Aston Martin’s biggest philosophical leap yet, its commercial success is absolutely crucial, with current financial stress creating another period of uncertainty for the brand. As was proven by Porsche and many others, a high-margin SUV might well be the get-out-of-jail-free card Aston Martin so desperately needs.
Aston Martin DBX options packages
As seems to have become a theme with high-end SUVs of late, a range of options packages will be available for the DBX, allowing owners to tailor the SUV to their specific needs. Whether buyers plan on using their DBX most for cycling, skiing, or simply walking the dog, there's something for everyone. Included in the Field Sport package is a gun cabinet and a shooting stick, with a dog partition, portable washer and dog accessory pack included in the Pet package. Pricing is yet to be announced.