A bold new chapter and a landmark moment in Aston Martin’s illustrious 106-year history, with the British car maker yesterday unveiling its first SUV and a model that will propel the brand to new heights worldwide. That model is the DBX.
Set to be built in Aston Martin’s purpose-built manufacturing facility in St Athan, Wales, the foundation of the DBX is a new dedicated SUV platform, something rarely seen across the sector.
Utilising bonded aluminium, a construction method Aston Martin has refined through the development of its sports cars, the body structure is both very light and incredibly stiff, assisting in the delivery of an overall kerb weight of 2,245kg.
Adaptive triple volume air suspension has been combined with the latest 48v electric anti-roll control system (eARC) and electronic adaptive dampers to provide the new SUV with a huge breadth of ability.
With its capacity to raise the ride height by 45mm or lower it by 50mm, the air suspension gives any driver the confidence to tackle a wide range of terrain. While this of course provides benefits while on the move, the system can also be programmed.
The adaptive triple chamber air springs enable variable spring stiffness, giving both luxurious comfort and dynamic prowess. This sophisticated system of adaptive air suspension, dampers and eARC allows for maximum ride comfort.
Powered by a new version of the characterful 4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine found in DB11 and Vantage, the DBX features an impressive output of 404kW and 700Nm of torque, carefully tuned to meet the specific needs of this model.
With a sound character that is unquestionably Aston Martin, the active exhaust system ensures this is a luxury SUV that can sound refined one moment and exhilarating the next. It can sprint to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
Transmitting this power and torque to the ground is a nine-speed torque converter automatic gearbox, allied to an all-wheel drive system with active differentials featuring an active central differential and an electronic rear limited slip differential (eDiff).
This allows the torque to be moved precisely both fore and aft in the vehicle and also across the rear axle. When combined with the bespoke steering system that has been tuned to deliver a sports car-like response, it provides a sense of control in all conditions.
Aston Martin’s first ever full-size 5-seat model is not only exceptionally versatile in terms of the terrain that it can tackle, it is also extremely adaptable to a wide variety of lifestyle needs and owners.
There’s 632 litres of boot space and 40:20:40 split folding rear seats. The load space offers a practical and cleanly designed space. A narrow load sill and broad aperture maximises the practicality for a variety of luggage.
The handcrafted interior of the DBX has been designed to provide equal space and comfort in the front or rear of the car. Class-leading headroom and legroom combines with a full-length glass panoramic roof and frame-less door glass to offer a light cabin.
The use of sports car seat packaging in the front not only provides the driver with exceptional support and long-distance driving comfort, but also provides knee and foot-well clearance for those sitting behind.
The seats are trimmed in sumptuous, full grain leather, sourced from long term partner Bridge of Weir, while both the headlining and electric roof blind are available in a luxurious Alcantara finish.
A contemporary range of exquisite wood, composite and metal veneers ensure that the cabin can be tailored to any taste. This includes a range of innovative materials and an industry first application of a fabric made from 80% wool.
A new flax composite – derived from the same plant as fine linen – also provides an alternative to carbon fibre and a distinctive design aesthetic.
Framed by these materials is an abundance of technology. A 10.25-inch TFT screen sits elegantly flush in the centre console, while a huge 12.3-inch TFT screen provides a wealth of information to the driver.
Apple CarPlay comes as standard, as does a 360-degree camera system and ambient lighting that offers 64 different colours in two zones.
On the outside, it’s all elegance too. From the signature ‘DB’ grille at the front, through the sculptured sides and design feature line, to the tailgate with a flip that draws inspiration from the Vantage, this is an Aston Martin from every angle.
Beautiful details like the hidden side glass seals on the frameless doors and glass B-pillar finishers add an elegant sleekness and confidence to the stance. Cutaway sills also assist in narrowing the step-over required to enter the sumptuous cabin.
Aerodynamics were just as important in the design process. At the car’s front, the daytime running lights (DRLs) have an integrated aerodynamic duct, which channels air through the front wheel arches and along the side.
It helps to reduce both drag and lift while also cooling the brakes. Air flows cleanly over the roof, through the rear wing, over the rear window and on to the rear flip. This unique approach allows the rear screen to self-clear on the move.
Just 15 of the new performance SUV will come to Australia in 2020, with 11 already deposited. A spokesperson for Aston Martin of Sydney told Exhaust Notes Australia that only about 70 per cent of depositors go through with the final purchase.
When it lands here mid-year, it will hit the market at $385,000 drive away, with the local model including the technology pack as standard (rather than as an optional extra as it will be overseas).