In 2015, renowned luxury sports car maker Aston Martin pressed the button on its concept for a luxury-oriented SUV. At the time, the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Lamborghini’s Urus were just glints in the eyes of their respective designers. It’s morphed from a slinky and svelte coupe-style to a slinky and svelte and more traditional looking 4-door SUV. First sales on the Aston Martin DBX are expected to be in early 2020 for the northern hemisphere market and naturally, Aston Martin acknowledges the man that founded the iconic company, with David Brown’s initials once again at the helm.
Power and Ride
Aston Martin has, as of this year, decided to conclude its engine sourcing relationship with supplier Mercedes-Benz. Until the British firm locks away its own program, a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 is the engine for the DBX. 542 horsepower(405kW) of power at 6500rpm and 516 pound-feet (700Nm) of torque between 2200 and 5000rpm are the numbers. Running on unleaded fuel, consumption is said to be 16.2mpg/14.5L/100km from a 22.5US gallon (85L) tank.
The 0-62mph (100kph) sprint is a hustling 4.5 seconds on a way to a top whack of 181mph (291kph). That oomph goes to all four corners via a torque converter spinning a nine-speed automatic. Variable torque distribution and an adjustable air suspension (on a double-wishbone front/multilink rear configuration) for ride height changes will be standard with up to 50mm drop or 45mm height extension. This will no doubt aid the one or two that may actually see off-road action with a maximum approach angle of 25.7 degrees, departure angle of 27.1 degrees and a breakover angle of 18.8 degrees. Water fording shouldn’t be an issue with up to 20 inches (500mm) of wading depth said to be available.
A center differential will work in spreading the torque between front and rear by a 47 to 53 front/rear split, or in “sporting” applications virtually all of the torque to the rear wheels. Stopping power is six-piston calipers for the front grabbing 410mm x 38 mm. The rear will be sliding pistons and bite to 390mm x 32mm discs. The rear will also have an electronic limited-slip differential (eDiff). Pirelli supplies the rubber with P Zeros on each wheel. The front rubber at 285/40 YR22, and rears at 325/35 YR22, ensure a vast footprint on road.
Aston Martin has opted for a bonded aluminum core for the DBX. This gives the DBX a starting weight of a not inconsiderable 4,949 pounds (2,245kg). It’s a five-seater and the second row is unusual in being a 40/20/40 split. Cargo is huge at 632L before the second row is laid flat. A full-length glass roof is standard, and the doors are frameless. Drivers will face a 12.3-inch full-color LCD screen, and extra controls for Apple CarPlay, satnav, and audio, will be via a 10.25-inch main touchscreen. Three different grades of leather can be chosen from, as can seven veneers for the dashboard with choices of contemporary wood to carbon fiber and natural flax composite. The DBX will also feature woven wool felt, a production car first, says Aston Martin.
The front seats will have a three memory position and a 12-way power-adjustable system, plus, naturally, will be heated. Climate control will be a three-zone configuration. LED ambient lighting with 64 variations will add visual impact and complement the standard Caithness leather. Sounds for the five seats will come from a bespoke 800 watt, 14 speaker audio system with AM/FM/DAB, and for the USA market, Sirius satellite radio. Four USBs and 3 x 12V sockets allow charging and convenience on the go.
The exterior is a nod towards the current design ethos of Aston Martin, with a built-in a rear spoiler, a full body width LED rear light strip, whilst the front features a separate pair of LED running lights that frame a pair of aerodynamically linked air intakes. There are a pair of vents for the front wheel wells to reduce aero drag. The main lighting is also LED. The DBX deviates from the saloons by being a more organic and rounded shape from the signature grille rearwards before terminating in an almost Jaguar-esque rear window line.
It’s a big body too, with the curvy lines hiding its 5,039mm length. Shoulder room won’t be an issue thanks to a width of 1,998m. Legroom? Sir and Madam will have a 3,060mm wheelbase in which to waft along in comfort.
The Buying Experience
Aston Martin will offer a staggering 11 accessory packs which will be available from the launch date. One will be the “Pet Package,” which will add a portable washing system for dogs and the “Snow Package,” which will include boot warmers among its features. Other options will include a 16-way power adjustment system for the front seats, a heated steering wheel, varying styles of fabric finish, Aston Martin wings or DBX embossing and the aforementioned veneers.
These will include walnut, piano ivory wood and dark Ziricote open-pore wood, amongst others. Underneath will be nine different color options for the brake calipers, three different finishes for the Sport or Ribbon optionable wheels, and a choice of finishes for the fender finishes. And with just 5,000 per year to be made available, the first 500 buyers will be receiving some true exclusivities.
A special ‘1913 Package’ will also be standard for the first 500 buyers, in honor of the company’s founding date. Those examples will get a unique fender badge, sill plaques, plus an individual inspection plaque. These will indicate the car will have been inspected and endorsed by Aston Martin’s chief, Andy Palmer, confirming its exclusivity. They will also receive a limited-run book about the build, signed by Palmer and Aston’s design boss, Marek Reichman.
The prices range from USD$189,000 to just under USD$193,000 with deliveries expected to get underway from May 2020 in the UK.