Not bad, not bad at all!
The latest shoe to drop in the world of historically car only manufacturers is the new Aston Martin DBX.
Aston Martin is of course the British Marque that is known for their highly designed sports cars. Truthfully, they’ve become entrenched in the exotic category because of their exclusivity, price and performance. Typically viewed as competition to the grand touring Ferraris more so than McLaren, etc., they’ve found their corner of the market and are good at it.
Viewed as the “gentleman’s sports car” brand, it’s suitable for the confident and continental style buyer. Somewhat like a James Bond for instance.
Well, even these sorts of buyers could also use a vehicle more suited for daily usability over simple cross continent high speed and comfort travel. Enter the DBX.
If you recall, Aston Martin stretched its legs a bit recently with a bit less than success. They tried different directions to expand the usability of the models for some strange reason by creating the Cygnet. Let’s just move on to the next venture.
They then felt they needed to make something that was capable of carrying more than a driver and one passenger. So they created the Rapide. Though this four-door sedan was a bit closer to what would round out their model line, it too just didn’t make the grade. In MY book at least.
Both of these attempts were simple off shoots of something else. Both may have had good intentions but should have been thought out a little better. Or maybe not let finances get in the way of making a great addition to the brand.
Time is a great teacher. We now have the DBX. For what it’s worth in my book, they did a great job.
There’s no telling if adding a utility vehicle to the lineup is a good thing. But in today’s market it seems you need one if only to stay along side the competition.
So from my perspective Aston Martin has done themselves proud in this vehicle. First off the design holds true to Aston Martin. It carries all the recent brand design cues. But though the exterior is typical but beautiful, where this offering stands apart from some other recently introduced utility vehicles is the extremely high-quality interior.
Over the past few years, Aston Martin had upped their game when it comes to the interior quality. They have multiple layers of leather and genuine materials. They are one of if not the only sports car brand where you can truly say and test the phrase, it if looks like it, it is. Metal looking items are real metal. Leather is EVERYWHERE. If it looks like wood, it is.
This interior of the new DBX is beautiful. It is in keeping with the brand identity.
Performance-wise we expect no less than something that can somewhat compete with other sports car manufacturers like Porsche or maybe even Lamborghini. Time will tell, but it looks like this vehicle is here for the owner to be able to comfortably travel long distances, even take a off-road shortcut if desired.
Personally, I like it. I feel it will look even better in person of course. One thing we do indeed know, is that the interior will smell of fine leather.
“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.”
- Aston Martin launches fourth car of transformational Second Century Plan
- First SUV for 106-year-old luxury British marque
- Delivers broadest design brief of any Aston Martin in history
- Broad range of capability from sportscar dynamics to off-road versatility
20 November 2019, Beijing, China: A bold new chapter and a landmark moment in Aston Martin’s illustrious 106-year history, Aston Martin has today 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 programme 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.
Aston Martin Lagonda President & Group CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer said: “I can’t emphasise enough how incredibly exciting and significant DBX is for Aston Martin. Through its development alone, this beautiful SUV has already taken the company into new territories and in inspiring directions. DBX also marks a key moment in the delivery of the third and final phase of our Second Century Plan, not only representing the promised expansion of our portfolio but also signaling the start of production at Aston Martin’s second manufacturing plant. We have both delivered this model through our expertise, but also by garnering invaluable experience and knowledge from external counsel, including our Female Advisory Board. This is a real landmark for this great British brand and I promise that DBX will reward all who experience it in their everyday lives.”
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.
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 kerbweight 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.
The adaptive triple chamber air springs enable variable spring stiffness, giving both luxurious comfort and dynamic prowess. Extraordinarily the eARC – capable of 1,400Nm of anti-roll force per axle – can limit DBX’s body roll for handling that is much more akin to that of a sports car than an SUV. This sophisticated system of adaptive air suspension, dampers and eARC allows for maximum ride comfort when transporting up to five occupants and their luggage, while maintaining a highly responsive and engaging dynamic capability.
Powered by a new version of the characterful 4-litre, 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 convertor 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, 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 litres 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 load space 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.
Complimenting the incredibly high standard specification of DBX, which includes all available active safety systems, there are many optional accessory packages offered. These packages will tailor the car even further to customers’ needs, sports or pastimes. For example, the Pet package will include, amongst other things, a portable washer to help attend to the needs of a muddy dog after a walk. Alternatively, the Snow package will deliver boot warmers to make a ski trip just that little bit more pleasurable.
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 combines 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 blind are available in a luxurious Alcantara® finish, providing a harmonious design, light obscuration and solar attenuation without compromising headroom. Throughout the cabin, DBX maintains an authenticity of materials, with judicious use of metal, glass and wood throughout the cabin.
Another design highlight includes the elegantly crafted bridged centre console allowing for both flexible storage below and a beautiful, architectural centrepiece. 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 personalisation service – optional features of this centre 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 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” TFT screen sits elegantly flush in the centre 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 colours 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 were 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 allows 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.
Aston Martin is incredibly proud that DBX, an SUV intended to expand the sales reach of the brand worldwide, will be built in Britain at the new manufacturing plant in St Athan, Wales. 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.
Further adding to the desirability of DBX, the first 500 owners of this landmark model will benefit from an exclusive ‘1913 Package’. Fitted with a unique fender badge, sill plaques and an inspection plaque detailing its limited build-run, each of these first examples will be personally endorsed and inspected by Andy Palmer. In addition, each customer will also receive a unique build-book signed by both Aston Martin’s CEO and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and an invitation to a regionally hosted Waldorf Astoria celebration cocktail party, hosted by a member of the Aston Martin Lagonda executive team.
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 USA. DBX is on sale now, with first deliveries scheduled to begin Q2 2020.
*Includes 3 year’s servicing