Aston Martin puts sports into SUV with the DBX
Aston Martin wades into the growing luxury SUV market with a twin-turbo V8 creation.
Aston Martin calls the DBX an "exciting" and "key" vehicle in the British sports car maker's 106-year history. Here's everything you need to know.
Aston Martin DBX highlights
- It has a 4.0-litre V8. Aston Martin bestows the DBX with an updated engine borrowed from the DB11 and Vantage sports cars. It has 4.0-litre displacement and twin turbochargers producing a stirring 404kW and a generous 700Nm of torque. Top speed is measured at 291km/h, with 0-100km/h taking a mere 4.5 seconds.
- It has an active exhaust and fuel-saving technology. A roaring V8 sounds great, but sometimes you don't want to draw that much attention to yourself. The active exhaust system is capable of toning down the sound, so you can sedately drive around town and still hear a raspy V8 snarl when you wish. Also, thanks to cylinder deactivation technology, the DBX should be a little less thirsty.
- It's got room for five. This is the first Aston Martin you can carry a full complement of five passengers in as well as their luggage. In fact, there are 632 litres of cargo space on offer.
- It's got a nine-speed gearbox. The automatic, nine-speed transmission is linked to an AWD set-up, complete with active diffs. The rear diff is electronically limited to restrict slipping (eDiff). Thanks to the centre diff, drive can be apportioned accurately between the front and rear axles. Aston Martin says this makes the DBX feel like a sports car.
- It has tech-ladled suspension. In order to make the DBX practical, Aston Martin fits the SUV with an adaptive "triple volume" air suspension. Electronic adjusting dampers and a 48V motorised anti-roll system (eARC) should keep the big SUV in check on-road. For off-roading, it's possible to raise the ride height by 45mm, helping you navigate over rough surfaces. The system can also drop the car by 50mm, making it easier to climb in. The suspension also has variable spring stiffness, delivering a balance between passenger comfort and handling dynamism. This is partly achieved thanks to the eARC, which exerts up to 1,400Nm per axle to counter body roll. Take that, Newton's Third Law!
- A lot of work went into the interior ergonomics. Aston Martin is eager to point out the neat touches that have been employed in the passenger compartment. There's a full-length panoramic glass roof, plus frameless door windows to admit as much light as possible. The company states the front sports car seats give not just front, but also rear passengers, excellent comfort and clearance. In actuality, there's class-leading head and legroom. In addition, you get separate central armrests (no more heated discussions with the driver about having it down or up). Even the positioning of the key was governed by input from Aston Martin's Female Advisory Board as well as from dealers and research groups.
The interior is ultra-luxurious. The seats are encapsulated in full-grain, Bridge of Weir leather. High-end materials are present in abundance, including a fabric that contains 80% wool. Buyers can also personalise the finishing veneers used. Visiting the "Q by Aston Martin" (is that a subtle nod to everyone's favourite Quartermaster with a penchant for modifying Aston Martins?) allows even more customisation.
Complementing the premium materials is a large 10.25-inch central infotainment display. Meanwhile, the driver's instrumentation screen is 12.3-inch across. Apple CarPlay is standard, as is a 360° surround-view camera. You can adjust the ambient interior lighting across 2 zones, with a pallet of 64 colours. Thanks to something called computational aeroacoustics, road and wind noise is hushed.
- The internal dimensions are uncompromising. Sometimes, you get into a car and feel that having real humans comfortably sit in the cabin was pretty low on the designer's priorities. However, with the DBX, Aston Martin said from the off, they had a goal of making sure the passenger compartment had as much room as possible. Aston Martin claims it is class-leading in this area.
- Shares construction method with Aston Martin's sports cars. The DBX isn't as heavy as some of its rivals, thanks to the use of bonded aluminium. The manufacturer has borrowed this way of creating body shells from its years of car building. As a result, the DBX is lightweight and rigid. The total mass of the British SUV is 2,245kg.
- Engineers started from scratch. Aston Martin was keen to point out that the DBX is built upon its own dedicated architecture, which allowed technicians and designers to push the envelope.
- Four years in the making. The DBX has been in the works since 2015, first with virtual development and then gruelling real-world testing in formidable places like Wales, UK.
- The options list sounds awesome. The optional Pet package bags you a washer to clean off your dog's paws and for keen skiers, the Snow package features boot warmers.
- The first 500 buyers get exclusive perks. If you're one of the first to place an order for the DBX, you'll receive the "1913" package. This includes unique badging around the car, a build-book signed by Aston Martin's CEO and an invite to a cocktail party hosted at your nearest Waldorf Astoria hotel. Your DBX will also be personally inspected by the Aston Martin Group's President, Dr Andy Palmer.
Deliveries should commence in Q2 2020, with a retail price of £158,000 (around $300,000). Aston Martin includes three-year's servicing. Australian availability and pricing are yet to be confirmed.
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