Aston Martin DBX Crossover Won’t Be Built On Mercedes’ platform
Aston Martin could build its first ever crossover on a new lifted sports car platform rather than adopting an existing platform from its industrial partner Daimler. Originally believed to use underpinnings from the Mercedes GLC, Aston’s upcoming DBX will instead likely use a new architecture currently in development for vehicles like the successor to the DB9 2+2 coupe.
Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Aston’s chief executive officer Andy Palmer confirmed that the Mercedes SUV architecture was not what the automaker was looking for, saying that models within the Mercedes GL nomenclature “clearly sit in a very different space to the one we want to go to. They are very much an SUV and we don’t want an SUV.”
Aston’s next-generation in-house architecture, which will use copious amounts of aluminum for a reduced curb weight, is currently under consideration to give the DBX a sportier, more car-like feel: “It just depends how high off the ground it could go. I don’t exclude the possibility of using some [Mercedes] parts, but I would say very much the primary route is our platform,” Palmer said.
Daimler AG, a multinational automotive corporation based in Stuttgart, currently owns a five percent stake in Aston Martin as part of a technology sharing agreement that includes V-8 engines and electronic architecture.
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Why it matters
This past April, Aston said it had raised $315 million to put towards the development of a production-version of the DBX concept that appeared at the Geneva Auto Show in March, as well as other vehicles outside its normal line of luxury sports cars. The DBX is purportedly aimed at attracting a new kind of customer to the British brand, including young people, women, and buyers in the Chinese market. AM has traditionally catered to an older, mostly male audience.
To keep the DBX in line with Aston’s performance catalog, Palmer said he would like it to come with a seating position that gave drivers a sense of sitting in the car rather than “on the car.”
However, the marque would like to stay true to its practice of creating vehicles with real sporting intent. To keep the DBX in line with Aston’s performance catalog, Palmer said he would like it to come with a seating position that gave drivers a sense of sitting in the car rather than “on the car.”
While many will bemoan the fact that yet another sports car manufacturer is falling victim to the allure of the crossover, with its broad, ever-expanding, and seemingly unflappable appeal, it appears as though Aston won’t be satisfied to offer up a rebadged Mercedes merely to attract new buyers. It instead wants to build the DBX from the ground up, hopefully creating a vehicle that will bear the twin-wing badge with the promise of at least some performance on tap.
The whole situation reminds me of the ill-fated Aston Martin Cygnet, which was essentially a rebadged and overpriced Toyota IQ city car. The automotive world responded to that little escapade with contempt and derision, and you can bet AM hasn’t forgotten.
As they say, if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself, so it’s not really that surprising the DBX will be an AM original. As for whether or not it’ll be any good, well, we’ll have to wait until 2019 when the DBX is expected to finally go on sale.
With Bentley, Maserati, Lamborghini, and Rolls Royce all considering a first foray into the crossover market, Aston Martin confirmed a production version of its DBX concept several weeks ago. The exterior is like a beefed-up version of the DB10, with a higher stance, bulging fenders, and that iconic front grille design.
The interior is laid out in a 2+2 design, and is sure to come dressed in high-end materials like Nubuck leather and machined aluminum, plus the latest in infotainment and driver’s aides. As for motivation, it’s rumored the DBX could use a new electric drivetrain, with in-wheel electric motors and AWD grip. No matter what’s situated under the hood, AM will likely give the DBX a decent amount of muscle to keep it within the performance expectations associated with the rest of its offerings.
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Source: Automotive News