The latest from Gaydon is fit to overcome the harshest of speed-bumps. In Style…
After finally seeing it in the flesh, I must admit that the Aston Martin DBX has won me over. Well, maybe not, but I understand it. The trend started by the Cayenne, some 20 years ago, has turned sports cars manufacturers upside down. And now, after 107 years of making small and fast things, their first SUV has made an appearance.
The rationale is clear. Mercedes and BMW proved the luxury SUV could be built by a non-SUV company. Porsche proved there was room for a sports version of it. Maserati tried it and was somewhat successful. Rolls came out with their… thing, and it sells. Lambo created the Eurofighter version for the road, and now, finally, and just a commercial break before Ferrari does theirs, the Aston Martin DBX is up for sale.
With an engine that we know can get all the way to 630HP (see AMG GT S63), the launch model has quite the room for the “S” version (let me guess, October 2021 launch?), the “R” and whatever else they have planned for the expected 7-year product cycle the new Aston Martin has tried to implement. At the moment, the Mercedes AMG 4l turbo engine is going to output 550HP on the DBX, on par with the Cayenne Turbo, close to the Maserati Levante Trofeo and a step down from the Urus, but not by much.
Size-wise, the DBX stands at 5.04m long and 2.05m wide. And at a whopping 2,245Kg, it cannot be said it is a lightweight. As an SUV should, the ground clearance is quite spectacular for an Aston Martin. Hydraulic suspension can lift the car 45mm to a total of 235mm from floor to ground. In perspective, that approaches Toyota Prado or Jeep Cherokee levels. That’s well into off-roader territory. Tyres though… with Pirelli PZero of 285/40 and 325/35 clearly indicate gravel, sand and mud are much preferred at a distance.
Seats? 4. Boot? Yes. That’s as much as I can say about it. Gears? 9. Cylinders? 8. Torque stands at 700Nm, providing a 0-100KPH of 4.5s and the 550HP will drive the DBX all the way to 290KPH of top speed. Giggling numbers.
Genesis, the Porsche Cayenne v1.0 looked like a morbidly obese sibling of the 911. It doesn’t now, but it started thus. The DBX looks like a muscular relative of the DB11. There is no obvious paralelism other than the quintessential DNA of the brand. That is the shark radiator grille, the stylized sideline, the integrated rear and that aura of serene class every Aston Martin has ever had.
If there was something amiss, that would be the ruggedness one usually associates with the trekker. Even the RR Cullinan has brought some of that grunt unto the uber luxury arena. The DBX, on the other hand, looks it came out of the nail salon or the Vidal Sasoon Aloe Vera cascade commercial. Perfectly quaffed and ready for dinner. Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore rather than Sean Connery and Daniel Craig. 007, but the refined type.
With more acronym-based electronic systems than you would hear in an entire season of Homeland, Aston Martin has saved no expense in letting everyone know how advanced, safe, avant-gard, comfortable and, of course, utilitarian the DBX is. For example, it has ISOFIX-ready seats, for the investment banker offspring, and a power tailgate, for the investment banker grocery run.
However, I am yet to find a more beautiful interior than this one. There are some more spectacular. Some have bigger screens. Others have bigger buttons. This is the epitome of taste. And utility. I did sit down in the back seats and found the space reasonable for a large-ish sized individual.
And yet, it feels a driving machine. Something you would rather control than leave for the auto pilot. With buttons you would like to touch rather than screens to swipe about. A lovely space to be in.
There are, of course, many more things to say but we will leave them for the hopeful review to come. If we are allowed. At this time, we can only add that Q2-2020 is scheduled for the first delivery, and that a base price of around $190,000 is the official figure. For that price, I wish that the obvious cooperation with Mercedes had extended to the Burmester sound system rather than the Harman/Samsung they put in. But, then again, I am yet to listen to it.