Aston Martin has been around for 106 years, and for most of that, it’s been known for sports cars. But with high-end SUVs from the likes of Lamborghini and Bentley clogging country club parking lots, it was only a matter of time before Aston launched one of its own. Unveiled at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2021 Aston Martin DBX is that vehicle. Aston claims the DBX, which goes on sale in the United States next year, packs the latest technology from its sports cars.
The DBX certainly looks like an Aston Martin. The front fascia seems to have been ripped straight off a DB11, while the rear end is reminiscent of the Vantage. The body is made from bonded aluminum — just like Aston’s sports cars. That construction method allowed for greater torsional rigidity than rival SUVs, as well as a lower curb weight, according to Aston. However, at 4,940 pounds, the DBX is no Mazda Miata.
As previously revealed by Aston, the DBX is powered by the same twin-turbocharged V8 used in the Vantage and DB11. Sourced from Mercedes-AMG, the engine makes 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque in the DBX. All-wheel drive (with a carbon fiber prop shaft, to save weight) and a nine-speed automatic transmission are standard. Aston claims the DBX will do zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, and reach a top speed of 181 mph. That’s pretty good for an SUV, but a few ticks behind the Lamborghini Urus, as well as the fastest versions of the Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga.
Aston wanted to give the DBX the handling of a sports car and the ride of a luxury car, which is a lot to ask of a heavy vehicle with a high center of gravity. So Aston equipped the DBX with an electronic anti-roll control system. Similar to a system already used by Bentley, it uses electric motors in place of traditional anti-roll bars to precisely control the amount of wheel travel, keeping body roll in check without compromising ride quality. The DBX also has an air suspension system that can raise or lower the ride height on command. Pumped up to its maximum height, the system creates enough ground clearance for off-roading, Aston claims.
On the inside, the DBX has a 10.25-inch infotainment screen (borrowed from Mercedes), and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Apple CarPlay is standard, but Android Auto isn’t available. The standard Harman audio system boasts 800 watts and 14 speakers — the latter covered with leather instead of traditional metal mesh.
Engineers made an extra effort to make sure the DBX worked as an SUV. The development team spent six months on the driving position alone, according to Aston. The automaker also invited a group of children to test out the rear seats. The steering wheel may look like it was pulled from an Aston sports car, but it’s actually a DBX-specific design. Customers can also specify an 80% wool blend for interior trim — an automotive first, Aston claims. In addition to being distinctive, wool is more sustainable and naturally water-resistant, according to Aston.
The 2021 Aston Martin DBX is priced from $189,900. Aston is accepting orders, with U.S. deliveries scheduled to begin in the second half of 2020. The DBX will be built at a new factory on a former Royal Air Force base in Wales.
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