Published on July 19th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Aston Martin DBX SUV Production Starts
When Aston Martin announced that they were going to develop and launch a full sized SUV, the market did not react with much enthusiasm as the segment was already filled with so many options from all the existing premium vehicle brands. Bentley and Lamborghini were already late bloomers when it came to producing luxury SUV’s and Audi, BMW and Benz had many variants in their product line-up to quench the thirst of this rising segment. Porsche was already a segment leader with the Cayenne and the Macan had taken leadership in the lower end of the segment.
Segment initiator, Range Rover was still the default choice by many and its appeal could not be toppled. So, what could Aston Martin bring to the segment?
They had brand value and of course the 007 movie franchise to assist perhaps. Well, more than that, they had existing customers that needed a family vehicle and this is why the DBX made good business sense.
Aston Martin’s first SUV has finally rolled off the Welsh production line, signalling the beginning of production of what could be the life line of British car marque.
The new Aston Martin DBX SUV is a departure for the brand, who is more at home making large V12 and V8 grand tourers and sports cars. Built on an all-new bespoke platform, the DBX is joining the ranks of other supercar manufacturers turning to the SUV market to save their bottom line.
Aston’s super SUV follows the Porsche Cayenne philosophy of SUV design, that is to stretch a svelte supercar to SUV proportions. The front may be unmistakably Aston Martin with that signature grille, and the rear styling is reminiscent to the new Vantage, complete with ducktail spoiler; but there is no mistaking that the DBX is a large car. Though handsome to most people, it is safe to say that it is not the timeless beauty of Aston’s previous four seater, the Rapide.
Thanks to a collaboration with AMG, Aston’s first SUV is launched with a 4.0 twin turbo Mercedes AMG sourced V8. Incidentally the same powertrain as in the super fast Mercedes-AMG E63 S, which brings with it the same ‘active’ four-wheel drive system and torque-vectoring rear differential. Mated to a Mercedes sourced 9 speed ZF gearbox, this SUV packs in 542 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Capable of rocketing this 2.3 tonne luxury SUV to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 291 km/h.
To the eco-conscious millionaires out there, Aston states that there is a hybrid variant of the DBX in the works, along with a fire-breathing AMR version to provide balance to the range.
The interior of this luxury SUV is the typical Aston fare. A large panoramic sunroof allows light to penetrate into the DBX interior that is full of hand stitched leather, finely polished aluminium and if one is generous with the options list, carbon fibre galore as well. There are also the usual luxury features abound within the cabin with four zone climate control and heated rear seats, culminating in the large Mercedes sourced full digital gauge cluster and large touchscreen infotainment system.
Aston has also attempted to inject some U in this 5-metre-long 5 seat SUV. Resulting in a spacious 632 litre cargo capacity and the ability to tow up to 2.7 tonnes, not that anyone will be towing in an Aston that is. The rumours of a seven seater version further enhances the usability of the DBX.
With near constant news of financial peril at Aston Martin, this DBX SUV may be do or die for the Gaydon-based supercar manufacturer.
Will it be any good? Well the coronavirus pandemic has delayed road tests and reviews, but we hope to find out soon when this million dollar SUV arrives on our shores.
Press Release: Just over four years since Aston Martin announced its investment in a brand new manufacturing facility at St Athan in Wales, the first Aston Martin to be “Made in Wales” has been driven off the production line.
The culmination of an extensive development programme that began with virtual development stretching back to 2015 and physical testing in Wales in 2018, 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.
With its all-wheel drive system, DBX is a car that will allow the company to increase its presence in markets where perhaps the weather or terrain is less than conducive to rear-wheel drive sports cars. The clear emphasis on a spacious and luxurious cabin – whether seated in the front or back – will also allow Aston Martin to better reach customers who prefer to be driven rather than drive.
Aston Martin Interim Chief Operating Officer, Keith Stanton, said: “It is a real privilege to be here today to witness the completion of the first production Aston Martin DBX. I’m extremely proud of the Aston Martin team who have worked so hard to transform this ex-Ministry of Defence site into a world-class car manufacturing facility, to now be producing cars, it is testament to the resilience and fortitude of everyone at Aston Martin. It is an honour to see the first DBX come off the line and my only regret is that everyone who works for this incredible brand can’t be here to witness it.”
The DBX is a true Aston Martin; it captures the very spirit of the brand as a beautiful hand-built, yet technologically advanced car. With around 80% of production expected to be exported and sold overseas, it is an important model for Aston Martin and a clear illustration of the strength of British manufacturing capabilities.
Marek Reichman, Aston Martin Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, who was at St Athan to witness the completion of the first SUV designed by his team, said: “We are incredibly proud of our first SUV, which is as much of an Aston Martin as any one of our sports cars. From my design team to the engineers, the vehicle dynamics team and all the experts who hand-craft this beautiful car, here at St Athan, the DBX has become the car that will drive Aston Martin into a bold new era.”
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “This is a historic moment for Aston Martin and for Wales. It is also a huge win for the Welsh Government’s can-do attitude.
“The DBX is an exceptional vehicle from one of the world’s most luxury car brands, and it will be central to this iconic company’s growth plan and ambitions for the future.
“I could not be more proud to see this fantastic SUV being made in Wales and rolling off the production line. It also speaks volumes for the dedication and skills of the world class work force we have right here in Wales.”
First deliveries of the DBX to customers start later this month, as planned.
Research by Joshua Chin