In 2015, renowned luxury sports car maker Aston Martin pressed the button on its concept for a luxury-oriented SUV.
At the time, the Bentley Bentayga, forthcoming Cullinan from Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini’s Urus were just glints in the eyes of their respective designers.
Since then the Aston Martin DBX has morphed from a slinky, svelte coupe-style look to a slinky, svelte and but more traditional looking, four-door SUV.
And, as of this year, the company has decided to end its engine sourcing relationship with Mercedes-Benz.
Until the British firm locks in its own program, however, DBX will continue to be powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.
The engine pumps out 405kW of power at 6500 rpm and 700Nm of torque between 2200 and 5000 rpm.
Running on unleaded fuel, consumption from the 85-litre tank is said to be 14.5L/100km.
The 100 km/h sprint is a hustling 4.5 seconds on the way to a top whack of 291 km/h.
That oomph goes to all four corners via a torque converter spinning a 9-speed automatic.
Variable torque distribution and an adjustable air suspension (on a double-wishbone front/multi-link rear configuration) changes the ride height, with up to 50mm drop or 45mm increase in height.
The latter will no doubt aid the one or two that actually see off-road action, with a maximum approach angle of 25.7 degrees, departure angle of 27.1 degrees and a break-over angle of 18.8 degrees.
Water fording shouldn’t be an issue either, with up to 500mm of wading depth reportedly available.
A centre differential spreads the torque between front and rear in a 47:53 ratio, but in “sporting” applications virtually all torque goes to the rear wheels.
Stopping power is supplied by six-piston calipers at the front that grab 410mm x 38mm discs.
The rear gets sliding pistons and bite on 390mm x 32mm discs.
The rear will also have an electronic limited-slip differential (e-Diff).
Pirelli supplies the rubber with P Zeros on each wheel.
The front are 285/40 YR22, and rears, 325/35 YR22, and ensure a vast footprint on road.
Aston Martin has opted for a bonded aluminium core for the DBX.
This gives the DBX a starting weight of a not inconsiderable 2245kg.
It’s a five-seater and the second row is unusual in that it is split 40/20/40, with a huge at 632 litres of luggage space behind the second row.
A full-length glass roof is standard and the doors are frameless.
Drivers face a 12.3-inch full-colour LCD screen, with extra controls for Apple CarPlay, satnav, and audio via a 10.25-inch main touchscreen.
Three different grades of leather are available, along with seven veneers for the dash with choices that range from contemporary wood to carbon-fibre and natural flax composite.
The DBX will also feature woven wool felt — a production car first, says Aston Martin.
The front seats will have a three memory position and 12-way power-adjustable system, and are, naturally, heated.
Climate control offers three-zone configuration.
LED ambient lighting with 64 variations will add visual impact and complement the standard Caithness leather.
Sounds for the five seats will come from a bespoke 800 watt, 14-speaker audio system with AM/FM/DAB — and for the US market — Sirius satellite radio.
Four USBs and 3 x 12V sockets allow charging and convenience on the go.
The exterior is a nod towards Aston’s current design ethos, with a built-in a rear spoiler and full body-width rear LED light strip.
The front features a separate pair of LED running lights that frame a pair of aerodynamically linked air intakes.
There’s also a pair of vents for the front wheel wells to reduce aero drag.
The main lighting is also LED.
DBX deviates from the saloons with its more organic, rounded shape from the signature grille rearwards where it terminates in an almost Jaguaresque rear window line.
It’s big too, with the curvy lines that disguise its 5039mm length.
Shoulder room won’t be an issue thanks to a width of 1998m.
Legroom? Sir and Madam will have a 3060mm wheelbase in which to waft in comfort.
Aston Martin offers a staggering 11 accessory packs which will be available from launch.
One is a “Pet Package,” which adds a portable washing system for dogs, and the “Snow Package” which includes boot warmers among its features.
Other options will include a 16-way power adjustment system for the front seats, heated steering wheel, varying styles of fabric finish, Aston Martin wings or DBX embossing and the aforementioned veneers.
These will include walnut, piano ivory wood and dark Ziricote open-pore wood — among others.
Underneath will be nine different colour options for the brake calipers, three different finishes for the Sport or optional Ribbon wheels, and a choice of finishes for the fender finishers.
And with just 5000 per year to be made available, the first 500 buyers will be receiving some true exclusiveness.
A special ‘1913 Package’ is also available for the first 500 buyers, in honour of the company’s founding date.
These examples will get a unique fender badge, sill plaques, plus an individual inspection plaque.
They indicate the car has been inspected and endorsed by Aston Martin’s chief, Andy Palmer, confirming its exclusivity.
They will also receive a limited-run book about the build, signed by Palmer and Aston’s design boss, Marek Reichman.
Aston Martin DBX is due for release here later this year, priced from $357,000.
CHECKOUT: Latest Aston Martin takes flight