Aston Martin DBX makes it debut
The Aston Martin DBX is the brand’s first SUV, beginning a new chapter that should result in more sales.
You only have to glance at the front of the DBX to know it is an Aston Martin. The signature front grille and elegant headlights give way to sharp and fast lines along the car’s flanks. A surprisingly tall glasshouse area shows that Aston hasn’t compromised on space or attempt to provide the car with a dramatic coupe-like roofline.
In the lower section of the front bumper, ducting channels air into the front wheel and along the side of the car to improve aerodynamics and help to manage the front brakes thermally. Surrounding these intakes are the LED daytime running lights. Airflow from the roof of the DBX drops down onto the noticeable ducktail rear spoiler. This aero setup also removes the need for a rear window wiper, as Aston claims that it will self-clean on the move. A similar setup features on the Jaguar I-Pace, however, unless you’re travelling at higher motorway speeds don’t expect to see much from the rear on a wet day.
The side profile of the DBX is where you see just how sporty it looks. From the frameless doors to the handles that retract flush with the bodywork to the contoured lower door skin and rocker cover that catch the light, there aren’t many bad lines on the DBX. What is a little unusual is how the panels that house the twin exhaust pipes does seem recessed from the boot lid.
Continuing Aston’s partnership with Mercedes-AMG, the centre console’s infotainment system uses some of the German brand’s switchgear and controls a 10.25-inch TFT screen that sits flush with the dashboard fascia. The usual items are there, including Apple CarPlay and a 360-degree colour camera system to help with parking. In front of the driver, there is a configurable 12.3-inch digital instrument display.
The DBX’s interior appears to be nothing short of excellent thanks to the quality of the materials used throughout. Heavily contoured sport seats up front include the DBX logo embossed in the headrest. There are wood inserts on the side of the centre console and transmission tunnel while framing the infotainment system is a thin metallic border, similar to the lower section of the centre console.
4.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine
Under the vented bonnet of the DBX is the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that powers the Aston Martin DB11 and Vantage. In the DBX the power output is rated at 550hp and 700Nm of torque. An active exhaust system ensures that it still sounds like an Aston when you want it to, or be hushed to keep the neighbours happy. With the DBX more likely to be an everyday car for most buyers, the engine utilises cylinder deactivation to help with fuel consumption. From a standing start, the DBX will hit 100km/h in 4.5 seconds and go on to a top speed of 291km/h.
The nine-speed automatic transmission uses a torque convertor setup to send power to all four wheels. An active central differential and electronic rear limited-slip differential enable torque distribution to any wheel, either front to rear and left to right. There is no traditional gear selector as such. Instead, the individual buttons for park, reverse, neutral and drive are spread across the top of the centre console, with the engine start/stop button in the middle. Large column-mounted paddles shifters behind the wheel allow for manual shifting of the gears.
The DBX is big and tips the scales at 2,245kg. Managing that weight on the move is a 48-volt electric anti-roll control system (eARC) and electronic adaptive dampers. The eARC system is capable of 1,400Nm of anti-roll force per axle, meaning when dialled up to its firmest setting, it can virtually eliminate body roll in the corners, without affecting overall comfort. This adjustable suspension system can raise the ride height of the DBX by 45mm to help get over more challenging terrain. Additionally, the ride height can be lowered by 50mm for faster running. Drivers can choose more specific settings for the suspension to take ingress, egress and luggage loads into account to make it even more practical.
Aston Martin DBX is the company’s first SUV
Aston Martin claims the DBX is the company’s first full-size five-seat model and has designed it to be as versatile as possible, while retaining a super-premium interior, obviously. Along with being able to sit three in the rear, Aston Martin is keen to tap into the family market, and it will offer a leather-upholstered child seat as one of the many options available. On the list, there is also some fabulously expensive blankets and cushions for the boot to ensure your dog will be suitably comfortable. Naturally. Speaking of the boot, that measures in at 632 litres and can be made even larger thanks to its 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats.