Aston Martin DBX

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Aston Martin presents a vehicle that has been on the road for several years as a prototype and has already led to various discussions among brand fans. While some could hardly wait for the arrival of the new DBX, others consider the expansion of the model portfolio to SUVs a betrayal of classic values. Since this car category is currently booming worldwide, manufacturers such as Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin can hardly avoid catching customers here as well. The first virtual preliminary work on this completely independently developed SUV began as early as 2015, and prototypes rolled out of the new production facility in St Athan in Wales for the first time early last year. While the design closely resembles well-known models of the brand, a completely new platform is used under the body. Like the body-in-white, it consists of bonded aluminium components and thus helps the vehicle to achieve a comparatively low kerb weight of 2,245 kilograms.

An air suspension with three air chambers per wheel combined with a 48-volt anti-roll control system (eARC) and adaptive dampers gives the Aston Martin DBX excellent handling on various surfaces with the lowest possible lateral inclination. At the touch of a button, the SUV can be raised by 45 millimeters from its normal driving height to cross uneven paths or it can be lowered by 50 millimeters. In addition, the system can be programmed so that the car automatically lowers for ingress and egress. This allows the up to five passengers to enter the DBX comfortably and then enjoy the performance of the four-liter V8 biturbo engine under the hood. This engine is already known from the DB11 and Vantage. In the DBX it delivers 404 kW/550 hp thanks to a model-specific fine-tuning and also delivers 700 newtonmeters of torque to the crankshaft and on to the new nine-speed automatic transmission. The power is then transferred to the permanent all-wheel drive with active central differential and electronic differential lock on the rear axle. At the rear, the exhaust gases flow through two tailpipes out of the car after passing the active exhaust system, producing a dignified V8 sound. In part-load operation, four of the eight cylinders switch off automatically to save fuel. When all of them are in full operation, the SUV accelerates from a standstill to 100 kph (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds and reaches up to 291 kph (181 mph) as topspeed.

The DBX is not only the first SUV in the brand’s history, but also the first model with five full seats. All passengers sit on the finest Bridge of Weir leather, which is available in various colors and stitching patterns. In addition to plenty of legroom and headroom, the DBX also offers plenty of light in the interior thanks to the standard full-length panoramic roof. When the sun is shining bright, an Alcantara sun visor can be extended under the glass roof to match the Alcantara head lining. From the dashboard, a free-floating center console runs down to the center tunnel, leaving enough room for little things to stow underneath. Various decors are available for the side panels of it. The rear seat can be folded down in a 40:20:40 ratio to ensure maximum suitability for everyday use, further increasing the luggage compartment volume of 632 liters. Aston Martin offers tailor made luggage sets in the same leather that also covers the interior. There is also the possibility to order a roof rack. The options list also includes cleverly designed packages such as the ‘Pet Package’ with a portable washer for dogs or the ‘Snow Package’ with a box in which the ski boots are pre-heated during the journey to the ski lift.

Behind the steering wheel, 12.3-inch display provides the driver with all the important information, while another 10.25-inch touchscreen display in the middle of the dashboard allows to operate the infotainment system, navigation system and other comfort options. The standard equipment also includes a 360-degree camera, ambient lighting with 64 adjustable colors and Apple CarPlay. The first 500 customers will also receive the exclusive ‘1913 Package’, including special logos on the rear and on the sill panels, as well as an inspection badge in the engine bay signed by Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer. In addition, customers receive a book with pictures of their car during production, signed by Andy Palmer and chief designer Marek Reichman, as well as an invitation to an exclusive cocktail party at a Waldorf Astoria hotel. Prices of the DBX start at 193,500 € in Germany, £ 158,000 in the UK (including three years of servicing) or US$ 189,900.

Images: Aston Martin