Aston Martin is the latest automaker to join the SUV craze as they have revealed a development prototype for the upcoming DBX.
The DBX name should sound familiar to some as Aston introduced a concept with the same name at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. While the concept took a Vantage and gave it a slightly higher ride height, the prototype embraces a practical five-door layout. Oddly, the overall shape reminds us slightly of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. The front end is pure Aston with a grille design seen on other models and slim headlights.
Aston is being coy on other details about the DBX. We expect it to use a new platform that will underpin the upcoming Lagonda sedan and SUV. At launch, the DBX will come equipped with either a V8 or V12 engine. We expect a hybrid powertrain to come in the future considering where the DBX will be built (St. Athan air base in Wales), will become the “home of electrification” for the brand.
“Seeing a DBX development prototype in action is a momentous chapter in the story of our first SUV, for it is the moment it really comes alive. DBX is so much more than ‘just’ an SUV; it will be the first model built at our brand-new facility in St Athan. As such, it is very much the start of a bold new era in the company’s long history,” said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.
Aston is planning to launch the DBX towards the end of 2019.
DBX: PROTOTYPE OF ASTON MARTIN’S FIRST SUV BEGINS TESTING
- Name of Aston Martin’s first SUV officially confirmed as DBX
- Prototype testing has commenced with DBX tackling Welsh Rally stage
- Extensive test programme will encompass some of the world’s harshest environments
- DBX programme on schedule for product launch in Q4 2019
14 November 2018, Gaydon, England: Aston Martin has made a significant and symbolic stride towards the luxury brand’s first SUV – now officially confirmed as being named DBX – with the first development prototype being put through its paces along a demanding Welsh Rally stage in the hands of the company’s Chief Engineer, Matt Becker.
This first test for DBX signifies the start of an extensive testing programme. One that has begun in Wales, as a nod to Aston Martins’ new St Athan production facility in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Though simulation is an essential part of DBX’s early development phase, this first prototype drive in Wales signifies the start of ‘real world’ testing, in which the SUV will be subjected to a punishing regime that will ultimately see development prototypes of the all-new machine tackle some of the world’s harshest environments, from the frozen Arctic and scorching deserts of the Middle East to high Alpine passes and the high-speed demands of the German autobahnen and Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The unique nature of DBX in the Aston Martin range means it requires a dedicated test programme; one that features new processes, procedures and standards that reflect its all-purpose role. So, while it will perform with the verve and poise of a true Aston Martin, its dynamic envelope has to extend into areas previously off-limits to the marque’s sporting roots. Naturally this includes impressive multi-terrain and towing capabilities as befits a state-of-the-art SUV.
Speaking of his drive in the DBX development prototype, Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Matt Becker, said: ‘We have already developed and tuned DBX in the driving simulator, which has enabled us to make excellent progress in advance of the first physical prototype cars being available. Still, it’s always a big day when you get to put the first actual miles on an early prototype and I’m delighted with the near perfect correlation between the simulator and this prototype. As an engineer, it’s genuinely exciting to get a feel for the car you’re working to create. DBX is a very different kind of Aston Martin, but we will be testing it in all conditions and across all terrains to ensure it delivers a driving experience worthy of the wings badge’
DBX is scheduled to be unveiled in the last quarter of 2019 and will be built at Aston Martin Lagonda’s St Athan facility; a state-of-the-art luxury manufacturing plant that will ultimately become the ‘Home of Electrification’ when the marque’s fully-EV models enter production.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Andy Palmer said: “Seeing a DBX development prototype in action is a momentous chapter in the story of our first SUV, for it is the moment it really comes alive. DBX is so much more than ‘just’ an SUV; it will be the first model built at our brand-new facility in St Athan. As such, it is very much the start of a bold new era in the company’s long history.”