Aston Martin’s first SUV comes to take on the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga

Meet the first ever Aston Martin SUV, the DBX, which is set to make its market debut in the fourth quarter of 2019 - it’s exactly one year away. It will be built in a new facility located St Athan, in South Wales, a plant which Aston Martin aims to make its “home of electrification.”

Since there’s already a fully working pre-production prototype, it means work on the Aston DBX is quite advanced and, from under the camo, we can see what it’s going to end up looking like. It’s obviously going to be quite a departure for the brand, but since the Aston Martin badge is one of the most prestigious and desirable in the world, it will undeniably prove popular among luxury SUV buyers.

Aston Martin announced its intention to make a high rider with the DBX concept it showed back in 2015, but the production incarnation looks nothing like the sleek two-door concept. The production Aston Martin DBX is a more conventional five-door design, since it not only needs to look good but also cater for practical needs as well.

Aston Martin DBX Exterior

  • Borrows styling cues from other current Astons
  • Doesn’t have plastic body cladding
  • Can’t miss that big rear ducktail
2020 Aston Martin DBX Exterior
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From the outside, the Aston Martin DBX looks like a raised hatchback with a ducktail spoiler poking out in the back.

Its front fascia is clearly that of an Aston, and it looks very similar to any other current model in the range. It has a huge grille, complemented by slim, wide headlights, and minimal other details.

The DBX’s side view reveals quite an athletic looking vehicle which doesn’t look awkward on its high suspension. It doesn’t appear as if it will have excessive plastic body cladding (if any at all), and the door handles look like they’re flush with the body - the kind where you press on one side, the other pops out, then you can pull on it to actually get the door open.

The rear end will probably have the current Aston look to it and like some rival sporty SUVs; it could even get a light bar running across the back.

It will be complemented by what looks like quite a big ducktail spoiler finishing off the rear end look - we don’t know whether the spoiler will make it to production as is, because it looks a bit oversized compared to the rest of the DBX’s body - it could just be exaggerated by the camouflage, though.

2020 Aston Martin DBX Exterior
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There’s another spoiler on the rear, this time sitting atop the hatch, but unlike the ducktail, this one is similar to what all its rivals currently have not necessarily to increase downforce, but to smooth the airflow going over the back end of the car. What’s clear is that between the small rear window and comparably thick C-pillars, rear visibility will not be great in this vehicle.

Aston Martin DBX Interior

2017 Aston Martin DB11 High Resolution AutoShow
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Aston has not shown a single shot of the DBX’s interior, but we can speculate based on other models it sells.

The overall dash will probably be very similar to what you see in the latest DB11, as well as the Lagonda Taraf, with a strong infusion of Mercedes-Benz buttons and switches.

Judging by the sloping roofline, there will not be excessive amounts of rear headroom, but with its fairly long looking wheelbase, knee room in the back should not be an issue. It also looks like there will be decent room for cargo in the boot, as it has kind of a big rear overhang.

What’s not so great is that it doesn’t look like it’s going to get the elegant, frameless side windows like some rivals; this really makes a car feel even more upmarket than it is.

Aston Martin DBX Drivetrain

  • Aston has a turbo V12 it could use
  • AMG V8 also a possiblity
  • Electrification possible too
2020 Aston Martin DBX Exterior
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Aston Martin has stayed tight-lipped about possible power plants for the DBX, but it’s quite obvious it could get either the AMG-sourced, twin-turbo V-8 or Aston’s own V-12. It may be offered with either one.

Electrification will definitely be present in some form as part of the DBX package, and it will probably be offered with more than one powertrain option.

But, there’s no reason for Aston not to use the 503 horsepower, 4.0-liter V-8 from AMG since it’s not far off from the V-12 in terms of power and weighs some 250 pounds / 115 kilograms less than the V-12. It also makes great torque too, which is really helpful to haul a heavy SUV around.

However, if Aston wants to compete with Lamborghini in this segment, it needs an engine with over 600 horsepower, and it does have one in the form of its V-12. It surpasses that figure with the aid of two turbochargers. In the DBS Superleggera, it actually makes 715 horsepower and a monstrous 663 pound-feet of torque.

Don’t expect the DBX to come with a manual transmission, as the ZF eight-speed automatic will most likely be the only option.

All-wheel drive will definitely be standard, but we as of yet don’t know its specifics.

Aston Martin DBX Pricing

In Europe, its main rival, the Lamborghini Urus costs over €200,000 ($226,250), and we expect the Aston Martin DBX to retail around that price too if we factor in the badge and the expected performance. If it is offered with multiple engine choices, there may be models that dip below this value.

Aston Martin DBX Competition

Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus Exterior
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2019 Lamborghini Urus
Lambo’s first SUV since the LM002 was discontinued in 1993 with just 328 models produced

Lamborghini has not broken with tradition in creating its Urus SUV, which is actually the company’s second production SUV after the LM002 that was built between 1986 and 1993. The Urus uses similar underpinnings to the Audi Q8, but it is sportier, faster, and more exclusive - it also looks surprisingly good in person, and for people who prefer SUVs over lower body styles, its appeal is hard to resist.

It’s also got a great, high-quality interior with an Audi feeling of quality, but Lambo design touches which help it retain its individuality. Its performance is unmatched in the segment, thanks to its 4.0-liter V-8 engine that pumps out 641 horsepower (650 metric horsepower) and 850 Nm (627 pound-feet) of torque - the sprint from naught to 100 km/h or 62 mph takes 3.6 seconds, and its top speed is 305 km/h or 190 mph.

Read our full review on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus

Audi Q8

2019 Audi Q8 Exterior
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The Lamborghini Urus’s slightly cheaper and less exclusive brother, the Audi Q8 is actually a great way to get into this segment. Looks-wise, at a distance, you could mistake the Q8 for the Urus from several angles, and its interior feels just as plush and high quality.

Audi doesn’t currently sell a very hot version of the Q8, but in the future it will add a 435 metric horsepower V-8 diesel to its range of engines (which will be called SQ8) and an even hotter variant is believed to be in the works, an RS Q8 with performance comparable to that of the Lambo.

If the Aston Martin DBX does get a range of engines, the base version of it will go head to head with this Q8 which will probably be cheaper than it.

Read our full review on the 2019 Audi Q8

Bentley Bentayga

2017 Bentley Bentayga High Resolution Exterior
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When Bentley announced it was making an SUV, many people scoffed and began saying bad things about it. But now that it’s debuted and been driven around, there is actually a lot to like about it - the main thing is just how comfortable it is, a trait which cannot be matched by any current rival (bar the Rolls Royce Cullinan which is even more expensive and not out yet).

The Bentayga costs about as much as the Urus, and it offers comparable performance courtesy of a reworked 6.0-liter, twin-turbo, W-12 engine with 600 metric horsepower and 900 Nm / 663 pound-feet of torque - it can sprint to 100 km/h or 62 mph in under four seconds and it almost matches the Urus for top end speed too; the Bentayga W12 stops accelerating at 301 km/h or 187 mph.

Read our full review on the Bentley Bentayga

BMW X6 M

2020 BMW X6 M Exterior Spyshots
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Probably the most affordable way to get similar performance to a Urus in an SUV package is BMW’s X6M, a fire-breathing coupe-styled high rider that’s already in its second generation. It has excellent on-road performance, thanks to its 4.4-liter, twin-turbo, V-8 engine which makes 575 metric horsepower (567 horsepower) and 750 Nm / 553 pound-feet of torque.

Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h or 62 mph happens in 4.2 seconds (0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds flat) and its top speed with the optional M Driver’s Package is 280 km/h or 174 mph. However, unlike some of the vehicles mentioned above, it doesn’t really do off-road very well and since BMW launched the coupe-SUV craze, and the X6 is the best known such model, it’s perhaps a bit too common; all vehicles mentioned above are considerably rarer and more exclusive, and the Aston DBX will be no exception.

Read our full review on the 2020 BMW X6 M

Conclusion

2020 Aston Martin DBX Exterior
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Aston hasn’t really left a lot to the imagination by showing this prototype whose camouflage is quite revealing. The DBX’s styling may split opinions, especially that oversized ducktail at the back, but the debate will be among people who wouldn’t buy it - others may see the Aston badge on an SUV and instantly want one.

If aside from just being an Aston SUV, it will also have a great interior, be comfortable to travel in and be good both on- and off-road, then it could be interesting. After all, just plonking a fancy badge on so-so SUV won’t make instantly desirable - yes, I’m looking at you Maserati Levante.

But in this era where pretty much every single automaker is mulling creating or has already created an SUV, Aston needs to make a good one in order to compete in the increasingly crowded and competitive segment currently dominated by the Lamborghini Urus, which is the fastest and currently most exclusive of its kind.

The production DBX is one year away, and we’re eager to know more about it, how it works, what powers it and whether or not it will be available in electric or electrified forms.

  • Leave it
    • Styling may not be unanimously loved
    • That ducktail spoiler looks too big

Further Reading

2015 Aston Martin DBX Concept High Resolution Interior
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Read our full review on the 2015 Aston Martin DBX Concept.

2020 Aston Martin Lagonda SUV Exterior AutoShow
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Read our full review on the 2020 Aston Martin Lagonda SUV.

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