It's the first time in Aston Martin's 106-year history that the company has built an SUV. Yes, the DBX is here and the production model has been unveiled at the 2019 LA Auto Show. The virtual development of the car began way back in 2015 and the physical testing of the car started in Wales last year. The DBX signals a new era in Aston Martin's pursuit to deliver an SUV with sports car levels of dynamic performance. So let's start with what it looks like. Aston Martin's very first SUV gets the signature 'DB' grille at the front, and it looks pretty athletic because of the sculptured sides and design feature line, to the tailgate with a flip that draws inspiration from Vantage. There's no doubting, this is an Aston Martin. The hidden side glass seals on the frameless doors and glass B-pillar finishers add an elegant sleekness to the stance. Aerodynamics play a very important role and Aston Martin has made sure there's every bit of assistance that the DBX gets to cut resistance. 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 sharply-raked rear window and on to the upswept rear flip.
Aston Martin has utilised bonded aluminum, a construction method that has refined through the development of its sports cars, the body structure is both very light and incredibly stiff, and this is why the DBX weighs just 2245 kilograms. Aston Martin will build the DBX at its facility in St Athan, Wales. The facility sees a new dedicated SUV platform, which enables the DBX to achieve exceptional dynamics both on- and off-road.
Aston Martin has combined adaptive triple volume air suspension with a 48V electric anti-roll control system (eARC) and electronic adaptive dampers. With its capacity to raise the ride height by 45mm or lower it by 50mm the air suspension gives the DBX an advantage on any kind of terrain. 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 on-demand.
Under the hood of the DBX SUV, is a 4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine found in DB11 and Vantage. Output is rated at 542 bhp while there's a massive 700 Nm of torque on offer. It sounds good too, because Aston Martin provides an active exhaust system which ensures that this is a luxury SUV that can sound refined one moment and exhilarating the next. The power coming from that engine propels the over 2 tonne DBX from 0-100 kmph in just 4.5 seconds, while top speed is rated at 291 kmph. Transmitting this power and torque to the ground is a nine-speed torque convertor automatic gearbox, allied to an all-wheel drive system with an active central differential and an electronic rear limited slip differential (eDiff). This allows 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 designed to accommodate every driver from the world's 99th percentile male to the 5th percentile female, DBX has been very deliberately created with instant familiarity and ease of use from the start.
There's 632 litres of trunk space behind the second row and the rear seats split in a 40:20:40 configuration. The seats are trimmed in sumptuous, full-grain leather, sourced from Bridge of Weir. Also available is an industry-first application of a fabric made from 80 percent wool. Another 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.
A 10.25-inch TFT screen sits elegantly flush in the centre console, while a huge 12.3-inch 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 colors in two zones.
Aston Martin Lagonda President & Group CEO, 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."