Everything We Know About the Aston Martin DBX
The Aston Martin DBX is coming with the likes of Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus in its crosshairsby Tudor Rus, on LISTEN 10:29
We’ve all heard by now that Aston Martin will build an SUV. In fact, the upcoming DBX - that’s the name Gaydon chose for its first-ever high-riding vehicle - has revealed some of its intricacies, but even so, there’s still more of what we don’t know than what we actually know about it.
The DBX comes as a surprise move from Aston Martin and although you might not see it like that since every carmaker is churning out high-riding vehicles these days, the company’s CEO was very adamant that the company won’t build such a car because SUVs are boxes and boxes aren’t beautiful. The statement dates back to 2015 when Andy Palmer seemed to wage a war on SUVs, saying that “our [Aston Martin’s] DNA doesn’t allow us to go there” and “you cannot make a beautiful SUV, it’s impossible.” Oh, well, little did we know.
Long story short, the DBX is happening, and it is an all-out SUV coming to do battle against the likes of Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan. This is everything we know about the DBX, so bear with us.
What Is the Aston Martin DBX?
The Aston Martin DBX is the brand’s first-ever SUV, an entry in the extremely lucrative luxury SUV niche that is currently populated by the likes of Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and to some extent, the Lamborghini Urus.
In other words, the DBX is nothing more than a response to the current market demands, where customers have the hots for high-end, high-riding crossovers slash SUVs that nowadays must tick all the boxes: provide comfort, luxury, sleek looks, daily usability, and sheer performance. And let’s not forget about more income for the carmaker. According to The Guardian, Aston Martin hopes to double its annual production numbers once the DBX gets out on the market. Um, now where did we see the same story unfold? Oh, that’s right, back when Lamborghini was explaining why it came up with the Urus in the first place.
Since it wasn’t Aston Martin who created the luxury SUV niche, the Gaydon-based manufacturer had to use the competition’s models as benchmarks, so those would be primarily the Urus, Bentayga, and maybe the Cullinan. All of them rely on potent powertrains and offer top-shelf levels of luxury and plushness on the inside, so it will be Aston Martin’s job to at least equal if not even top those.
Nevertheless, it’s not just the competition that’s pressuring the brand’s engineers and designers, but also its very own ethos. Nobody at Aston Martin wants the DBX to steer away from the pledge sworn to exclusivity and driving excitement, although, ironically, the DBX is an entirely different dish from what we’ve seen to come out of the Aston Martin stable over the years since with it, the company took the soon-to-be very crowded SUV alley.
What Does the Aston Martin DBX Look Like?
Aston Martin sent a DBX prototype to the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and despite the heavy camouflage, we could still spot the elongated hood that ends with the DB11-inspired grille and the perky rear end with the ducktail-y spoiler that’s an appendix of the body instead of your run-of-the-mill attachment - quite similar to the Aston Martin Vantage, we might add.
From some angles, the DBX seems to share some design cues with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, especially as far as shape is concerned.
We’re saying that because both of them got a stretched body of sorts, albeit still high-riding, sweetened with curvy, fastback-y rear ends instead of square-shaped designs as seen on the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, for example.
Heavy camouflaged prototypes have also been spotted wearing different sets of taillights. Some test mules were fitted with round, double light clusters, while others flaunted horizontal, LED-stripe-y units - again, inspired by the Vantage. It’s hard to tell which setup looks better, but we’d go for the horizontal configuration as it’s a lot closer to what Aston Martin is offering on its sports cars.
After all, it’s hard to believe that Gaydon won’t infuse a great deal of dynamic composure into the DBX’s bones, given the name and reputation it has to honor, so the exterior should reflect that. It’s hard to pin down any size coordinates for the DBX at this point, but one of the videos of it shot in Goodwood shows that its proportions are quite similar to those of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Needless to say, we expect a lot more lusciousness from the DBX when it comes to its bodywork’s angles and shapes.
On a more official note, in a an interview for The Detroit Bureau, Aston Martin’s Andy Palmer said he believes that the DBX will be “the most beautiful SUV in the world,” a statement that’s at the far opposite end of what Mr. Palmer was saying back in 2015.
Is the Aston Martin DBX Fast?
Obviously, Aston Martin is aiming for stout performances with the DBX.
We know for certain that the Aston Martin DBX will use a tweaked version of the engine found in the current-generation Vantage, which is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. TopGear says that this is a Mercedes-AMG sourced engine as well. Inside the DBX, the “hot-vee” powerplant will crank out 550 PS (542 horsepower) and 700 Newton-meters (516 pound-feet) of torque, which is more than any other current Aston Martin offers in terms of grunt. Getting Lamborghini deja-vus already? Well, you’re not wrong. The Urus also employs a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, but it makes 650 horsepower and 850 Newton-meters (627 pound-feet) of twist, which is considerably more than the DBX’s arsenal.
However, it’s hard not to think that Aston Martin saw the Urus as a benchmark for the new DBX, which means we should expect similar 0-100 km/h (62 mph) times as well as top speed ratings. For what it’s worth, the Urus goes from naught to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.6 seconds, so the DBX should be able to do that in around 4.5 seconds - or even less, if Aston Martin gets the weight equation right. Speaking of that, in an interview with AutoExpress, Aston Martin Vehicle Line Director Andy Haslam explained that while the DBX is a full-size SUV, it will use a “lightweight, bonded aluminum structure with its own unique suspension system and platform.”
Going forward, the Bentley Bentayga is also available with a V-8 powerplant (4.0-liter, twin-turbo as well), one that makes 550 PS (542 horsepower) and 770 Newton-meters (568 pound-feet) of torque. Needless to say, the engine is a lot closer to the DBX’s in terms of specs, and it allows the Bentayga to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds and continues the charge to 180 mph (290 km/h). We believe that that this is the sort of on-the-road behavior Aston Martin wanted for the DBX in the first place.
What’s more, the Urus has a declared top speed of 189.5 mph (305 km/h), and Aston Martin says that the DBX has repeatedly exceeded 180 mph (290 km/h) during its development phase and regularly achieved sub-eight-minute Nurburgring Nordschleife lap times. Under these circumstances, it’s pretty clear that the high-performance element will be an integral part of the DBX and the driving experience it provides.
When Does the Aston Martin DBX Go On Sale?
Aston Martin plans to launch the DBX in December 2019.
Based on that, the SUV will most likely go on sale in mid-2020, but we can’t provide an exact date as this normally depends a lot on the market.
Aston Martin will sell the DBX in Europe, the U.S., and China. There’s no word on a price tag at the time of writing, but considering the DBX’s positioning in the luxury SUV niche, we can speculate that customers will have to pay at least £140,000 ($171,000 or €156,000 at current exchange rates) to get their hands on the new DBX - and that’s before vectoring in optional features and taxes.
Aston Martin DBX Facts and Rumors
Although Aston Martin has been generally tight-lipped about the incoming DBX, there are things that we know for sure. For example, the DBX will be built in Wales, at Aston Martin’s St. Athan facility, which is placed on an old RAF base. The plant will end up employing around 1,000 people and will feature its own paint shop and, of course, production line facilities. Later on, the plant will also be home to Lagonda’s future all-electric models.
We can also tell you with absolute certainty that the new DBX will pack a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 good for 550 PS (542 horsepower) and 700 Newton-meters (516 pound-feet) of torque. The powerplant uses a hot-vee configuration, which means the two turbochargers are positioned within the valley created by the cylinder banks.
The DBX will make its official debut in December 2019, and it will borrow a lot of styling cues from the Vantage.
Now, if we are to step into the Aston Martin DBX rumor mill, the SUV’s interior has been touted as a potential candidate for Mercedes-Benz bits and bobs that would amp up the ambiance inside the cabin. The infotainment unit is also said to be sourced from Daimler, so it might as well feature the stunningly-designed MBUX interface as the old COMAND setup is old and outdated by now.
Some rumors are also talking about a 5.2-liter V-12 engine making its way inside the DBX via the DB11, which will take Aston Martin’s SUV even closer to competing with the Bentley Bentayga. A third powertrain could also be in the cards, in the form of a hybrid version that will be added to the lineup further down the road, perhaps on the occasion of the SUV’s mid-life facelift.
According to Motor1, Aston Martin might fit the DBX with a drift mode as part of a rear-biased all-wheel-drive setup. The same outlet reports that Gaydon benchmarked the DBX against the likes of Porsche Cayenne Turbo and BMW X6 M to ensure it doesn’t fall short when it comes to oomph and fun factor.
Read our full review on the 2020 Aston Martin DBX
Read our full review on the 2015 Aston Martin DBX Concept.
Read our full review on the 2020 Aston Martin Lagonda SUV.