From the moment Andy Palmer joined Aston Martin as its CEO in 2014, his message has been clear: “if Aston Martin wants to survive, it must do a SUV.”
The DBX represents Aston’s first serious attempt at becoming a more mainstream automaker by going after a broader target audience. Billed as the first family-friendly Aston Martin, the production version of the crossover will adopt a five-door body style and get a longer, less coupe-like roof line than the DBX Concept. The front fascia is expected to make the jump to production with only minor modifications.
A new aluminum architecture, with elements pulled from the DB11 platform, will underpin the DBX. Like the DB11, the DBX will be powered by a choice of twin-turbocharged engines. Base models will use Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-liter biturbo V8 with 503 horsepower and 498 pound-feet of torque. Upgraded models will employ Aston’s new 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 producing 600hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
At one time, it was suggested the DBX Concept’s all-electric powertrain would make production, but Aston Martin has since scaled back to a conventional hybrid setup. Chances are, the AMG engine will be mated with a single or multiple electric motors for even greater output than the V12.
At least three additional new models will join the DBX; Aston Martin has embarked on the biggest model expansion in its 102-year history. Palmer explains that production of its core models like the Vantage will always be limited to 7,000 units in order to retain the sense of exclusivity that buyers seek, but models with a more mainstream appeal like the crossover are necessary in order to ensure the company’s long-term sustainability.
Aimed largely at the United States, China, and the Middle East, Aston Martin’s first crossover is expected to land in showrooms by 2020. When it goes on sale, it will have to fend off competition from a growing number of luxury off-roaders including the Bentley Bentayga, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and the Lamborghini Urus.
What will make the DBX unique? “It has not sacrificed any beauty to achieve its practicality or performance,” says Palmer.
Update: Added news that Aston Martin will produce its DBX crossover in 2019.
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