Aston Martin reveals DBX SUV 20 | 11 | 2019

    SIX MONTHS AFTER being sworn to secrecy, we can now reveal the first official images, specs and prices of the all-new £158,000 Aston Martin DBX. Those of us attending the Guild of Motoring Writers AGM were given exclusive access to the production-ready car at Aston’s Gaydon HQ back in May, on the condition we didn’t reveal any details. Such was the secrecy that our mobile phones/cameras were taken from us. (Related: Scots Aston Martin dealer is World No1)

    And if you think the car looks good in the photographs, the DBX is even better in the metal. Speaking with Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief creative officer at the event, I asked him about the car’s design.

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    “The DBX had to look dynamic, look lithe, because this is a car that has to perform on a dynamic level but also a luxury level,” he explained. “I said to the designers, ‘This is not a bread van. It sits somewhere between a coup√© and something like a Mk4 Discovery.’ We wanted to show our car’s sporting capability visually.

    “I’m 6ft 4in and I told the team, ‘I want to be able to sit behind myself in this car.’ And I can.”

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    Under development since 2015, the DBX goes head-to-head with the likes of the Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Bentley Bentayga. And while more than 70% of current Aston owners already have an SUV tucked away in their garages, the company also believes the DBX will attract more female buyers to the marque. (Related: 715bhp DBS Superleggera Volante)

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    Measuring just over five metres long and 2.2 metres wide, including side mirrors, the new SUV is based on an aluminium construction. That said, the DBX does also benefit from its own unique architecture, which sets it apart from the rest of the line-up. The use of composite panels also help keep weight down to just over 2.2 tonnes. (Related: All-electric 602bhp Aston Martin Rapide E)

    Aesthetically, in the metal the car certainly looks more sportscar than SUV. A high-rise, slab-sided behemoth this is not. Its lines are sleek and sensual, yet powerful and imposing. This is a car which will be capable of crossing countries with a relaxed ease.

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    The long bonnet glides its way back from what is the largest front grille Aston has ever made in its 106-year history. With a smile, Reichman stated: “I didn’t want it to be mistaken for anything other than one of our cars. This is one of our core models. We’ve stopped being just a sports car manufacturer.”

    From the side, the DBX displays relatively short overhangs and a cabin which is well set back from the grille. And the clever use of guidelines create an illusion which makes the roofline look more sharply raked than it really is. (Related: Aston Martin Valkyrie targets LM24 win)

    From the rear, the DBX’s stylish looks are further emphasised by the designers’ decision to taper the bodywork in noticeably beyond the rear wheels. Not only does this aid the car’s aerodynamics, but it further removes any thought of slabbiness.

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    Engine and specs

    Power for the new DBX comes from a retuned version of the Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine used in the Vantage and DB11. Delivering 542bhp and 700Nm of torque, it’ll propel the car from standstill to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and to a top speed of 181mph.

    The power is delivered to all four wheels a nine-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox. The 4WD system incorporates an active centre differential and an e-diff at the rear, which allows torque to be split front to rear, ranging from a 47:53 split, to almost entirely rear-drive. Turn-in is further aided by vector torque generated by the brakes.

    Aston says fuel consumption will be just under 20mpg (WLTP), with CO2 emissions of 269g/km.

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    Though nothing has been confirmed yet, there is the possibility of a plug-in hybrid version, as the DBX’s platform has been engineered to accept the technology. That, of course, will be crucial in attracting buyers in cites which will inevitably outlaw cars with no pure-electric capacity.

    As for offroad ability, Reichman focused o the DBX being able to at least match the capabilities of the likes of the Cayenne or Bentayga. Ok, so it’s not Range Rover ability, but it will be capable of far more than any owner is likely to consider putting his, or her £158,000 DBX through. And as an indication, it will be capable of towing more than 2.5 tonnes or driving through half a metre of water.

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    Approach and departure angles are 22.2 degrees and 24.3 degrees respectively (25.7 degrees and 27.1 degrees is the car is raised on its air suspension), and the maximum wading depth is exactly 500mm.

    That air suspension has four settings, and is paired with a 48-volt anti-roll system. That, according to Aston martin, means the DBX, with the air suspension in its most aggressive setting, will have a body roll comparable with that of the DB11 GT.

    Interior and tech

    Inside, it’s no surprise the DBX is the most practical Aston ever. Yes there’s room for five adults, plus there a pair of Isofix points in the rear, but the bootspace cannot only swallow an impressive 632 litres, but there’s an extra 62 litres below the boot floor. Rear seats fold 40:20:40, and the car can lower itself by 50mm so it’s easier to load heavy items.

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    The designers have also ensured the rear doors have a minimal intrusion from the rear wheelarches, making it easier to get in and out. Naturally, tis also makes it easier to install or remove a child seat or baby chair.

    Aston’s Q personalisation service will also include a luxurious four-seater version, which will allow the space between the rear seats to be used for everything from champagne fridges to cigar boxes … as you do.

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    Up front, the DBX gets an al-new version of Aston’s infotainment system, developed with Daimler. Not only is there a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, but there’s also a 10.25-inch central infotainment display neatly integrated into the fascia.

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    And while the 800-watt sound system is sure to have your ears ringing, the DBX comes with Apple CarPlay as standard, plus there’s USB sockets front and rear. In addition to ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours, there’s also a three-zone climate control system

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    To be built at the new Aton Martin facility at St Athan in Wales, the DBX starts at £158,000; which is around the same as the Urus. Available to order now, first customers can expect delivery in Spring 2020.

    Related: Aston Martin SUV starts testing

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    Jim McGill

     

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