A bold new chapter and a landmark moment in Aston Martin’s illustrious 106-year history, Aston Martin has unveiled its first SUV and a model that will propel the brand to new heights worldwide. That model is DBX. The culmination of an extensive development program that began with physical testing in Wales last year and virtual development stretching back to 2015, DBX signals a new era in Aston Martin’s pursuit to deliver exceptional performance, style and usability in a segment previously unexplored by the world-famous manufacturer. Bringing both the versatility and indulgence expected of a luxury SUV with sports car levels of dynamic performance, DBX sets a bold new standard in this sector.
Set to be built in Aston Martin’s purpose-built manufacturing facility in St Athan, Wales, the foundation of DBX is a new dedicated SUV platform, something rarely seen across the sector. More than ever before, this clean sheet of paper has allowed all departments within Aston Martin to innovate and push the boundaries of what British design and engineering can create, resulting in a truly remarkable product.
Utilizing bonded aluminum, 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 overall kerb weight of 2,245kg. Right from its genesis, it was designed to allow maximum room in the cabin, putting a premium on refinement and class-leading spaciousness for both front and rear occupants. Meanwhile, the exceptional stiffness inherent in the design of the new platform has also enabled DBX to achieve exceptional dynamics both on and off-road.
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 be further programmed to aid with ingress, egress and loading requirements, aiding on a practical level.
Powered by a new version of the characterful 4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine found in DB11 and Vantage, DBX features an impressive output of 550PS 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. The engine’s versatility isn’t restricted to its vocals either; the turbocharged V8 has cylinder deactivation to enhance fuel economy, yet it can also propel DBX from 0 to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 181mph.
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 feel and sports car-like response, DBX imbues the driver with an overriding sense of control, whatever the 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, but it is also extremely adaptable to a wide variety of lifestyle needs and owners. Designed to accommodate the world’s 99th percentile male and 5th percentile female, DBX has been very deliberately created with instant familiarity and ease of use from the start.
With 632 liters of boot space and 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats, DBX possesses all the flexible load capacity expected of an SUV with class-leading interior space. The loadspace offers a practical and cleanly designed space. A narrow load sill and broad aperture maximises the practicality for a variety of luggage, such as suitcases, golf bags, and ski equipment.
The luxuriously handcrafted interior of DBX has been designed to provide equal space and comfort whether sitting in the front or rear of the car. Class-leading headroom and legroom combine with a full-length glass panoramic roof and frameless door glass to offer a fantastically light and spacious cabin environment. 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 footwell clearance for those sitting behind. Small touches throughout, including separate central armrests, glovebox design and the ergonomic positioning of the car’s key control systems, have been guided carefully by the input of the brand’s Female Advisory Board, dealership feedback and a variety of private focus groups held worldwide. Not limited to this area, the guidance provided has been key to the success of DBX’s overall design.
The seats are trimmed in sumptuous, full-grain leather, sourced from long term partner Bridge of Weir. An industry first, both the headlining and electric roof blinds is available in a luxurious Alcantara® finish, providing a harmonious design, light obscuration, and solar attenuation without compromising the headroom. Throughout the cabin, DBX maintains the authenticity of materials, with judicious use of metal, glass and wood throughout the cabin.
Another design highlight includes the elegantly crafted bridged center console allowing for both flexible storage below and a beautiful, architectural centerpiece. This feature keeps valuables close to hand while not occupying the passenger seat and away from dirt on the car’s floor mats. As part of ‘Q by Aston Martin’ – Aston Martin’s personalization service – optional features of this center console can be machined from a solid piece of wood, such as Walnut, for added tactility.
A contemporary range of exquisite wood, composite and metal veneers ensures 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 fiber and a distinctive design aesthetic.
Framed by these materials is an abundance of technology. A 10.25” TFT screen sits elegantly flush in the center console, while a huge 12.3” 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 colors in two zones.
DBX’s exterior works as hard as the interior at bringing the elegance of Aston Martin’s sports cars into the world of the SUV. 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 Vantage, this is an Aston Martin from first glance to detailed inspection. 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 stepover required to enter the sumptuous cabin, while reducing the risk of ruining a fine dress or suit on arrival to a dinner engagement.
Aerodynamics was an important consideration within the design process and this included the novel experience for the team of running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tests with a DBX towing a trailer with a DB6 on it. 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, helping 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 and design detail allow the rear screen to self-clear on the move. Aerodynamic design has also played a key part in passenger comfort because as one of only a few companies using computational aeroacoustics technology, Aston Martin’s engineers have been able to keep cabin noise to a minimum at speed.
Dr. Andy Palmer said: “DBX is a car that will give many people their first experience of Aston Martin ownership. As such, it needed to be true to the core values established in our sports cars, while also providing the lifestyle versatility expected of a luxury SUV. To have produced such a beautiful, hand-built, yet technologically advanced car is a proud moment for Aston Martin.” Recommended Retail Price from £158,000 in the UK, €193,500 in Germany and $189,900 in the USA. DBX is on sale now, with first deliveries scheduled to begin Q2 2020.