OPENING THE DOOR TO THE DBX
Written by Andrew James
Photography courtesy of Aston Marten
Following an extensive research and development process that commenced in 2015, Aston Martin roared into the realm of SUVs, a segment previously unexplored by the 106-year-old luxury auto manufacturer. The main launch event for DBX took place in Beijing, China, with a secondary reveal staged during the Los Angeles Auto Show.
"I can't emphasize enough how incredibly exciting and significant DBX is for Aston Martin," said Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda's President & Group CEO, at the Beijing launch. "Through its development alone, this beautiful SUV has already taken the company into new territories and in inspiring directions. We have both delivered this model through our expertise, but also by garnering invaluable experience and knowledge from external counsel, including our Female Advisory Board. This is a real landmark for this great British brand, and I promise that DBX will reward all who experience it in their everyday lives."
A bespoke chassis allowed Aston Martin's design team to tailor the vehicle size and proportions to suit the specific aims of DBX. A long wheelbase permits optimization of interior space while keeping a distinctively sleek, low roofline. Designers devoted more than six months to defining the position of the driver within the vehicle. The result is a cabin with superior visibility that gives the driver relaxed confidence backed by dynamic performance. "We've successfully managed to achieve a package with the proportions and mechanical layout that allows sports car styling to be applied to a versatile, five-seat vehicle in a beautiful way," said Marek Reichman, Aston Martin's Chief Creative Officer.
Noteworthy is the involvement of a Female Advisory Board and numerous customer clinics, both of which the company says were crucial in the design and placement of each screen, button, and dial. As a result, Aston Martin says that the DBX can accommodate the world's 99th percentile male and 5th percentile female. One of the most distinguishing architectural features of the interior is a bridged center console that is ample enough for stashing a handbag or large water bottle.
The extent to which Aston Martin/s design team exhausted every possible passenger scenario is evidenced by their work with a panel of children at the company's design studio. These efforts, as well as DBX's full-length panoramic glass roof and expansive side windows, create a sense of space and lightness with encapsulating views for up to five passengers and their gear.
Adaptive triple volume air suspension, combined with the latest 48v electric anti-roll control system (eARC), and electronic adaptive dampers provide the new SUV with a vast range of benefits while on the move as well as during loading and unloading. The eARC can limit DBX's body roll for handling that is much more akin to that of a sports car than an SUV.
With a sound that is unquestionably Aston Martin, powering DBX is a new version of the 4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine found in both the DB11 and Vantage. Boasting cylinder deactivation to enhance fuel economy, the turbocharged V8 is capable of propelling DBX from 0 to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 181mph. Transmitting this power and torque to the ground is a nine-speed automatic gearbox mated to an all-wheel-drive system with active differentials.
As expected for an SUV of this caliber, a host of available packages are available for tailoring DBX to customers' needs, sports or pastimes. For instance, the amenities as part of the pet package include a portable washer, and the snow package delivers boot warmers. Top-tier customization is available as part of the 'Q by Aston Martin' program.
Scheduled to be built in Aston Martin's purpose-built manufacturing facility in St Athan, Wales, the MSRP for DBX is $189,900. The first 500 owners of this landmark model will benefit from an exclusive '1913 Package' that includes a unique fender badge, sill plaques, and an inspection plaque detailing its limited run.
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