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Aston Martin’s most family-friendly model to date

Aston Martin DBX SUV (20 on) - rated 0 out of 5
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PROS

  • Four-door SUV body should prove practical
  • Arguably classier than a Bentley Bentayga
  • 4.0-litre V8 is well-proven in other applications

CONS

  • Proportions are a little strange
  • Won't please purists
  • Is it ever likely to go off-road?

PROS

  • Four-door SUV body should prove practical
  • Arguably classier than a Bentley Bentayga
  • 4.0-litre V8 is well-proven in other applications

CONS

  • Proportions are a little strange
  • Won't please purists
  • Is it ever likely to go off-road?

Aston Martin continues the drip-feed of information relating to its first-ever SUV – the DBX.  It marks the first time that the brand’s ventured out of its more natural home on the road and race track, producing a vehicle that should be equally at home on the rough stuff – as evidenced by a video showing a pre-production model putting on its best rally display round a Welsh special stage.

At the same time, the DBX will venture into a large and highly lucrative market that’s attracting more and more high-end manufacturers – the luxury performance SUV. The Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Maserati Levante and top-end Range Rovers all appeal to different types of buyers, and Aston Martin clearly thinks its customers are asking for a high-riding, practical model such as the DBX.

Aston Martin DBX track testing

These SUVs also have past form in attracting new customers to their respective brands, which will no doubt be good news for Aston Martin.

V8 engine confirmed for new DBX

Aston Martin has confirmed that under the skin of the DBX will beat a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing an impressive 550hp. That’s down on power compared to its main rivals – the Maserati Levante Trofeo, for example, produces 572hp, while the Lamborghini Urus makes a frankly ridiculous 641hp. But Aston Martin’s often more concerned with how their cars feel to drive than outright speed.

Aston claims the DBX will corner on par with the Vantage sportscar, and can outbrake the DBS Superleggera – both factors that have helped it achieve sub 8-minute times around the Nurburgring circuit under testing.

Though the brand hasn’t said as much, we expect the V8 engine is the same Mercedes-derived unit as found in the Vantage, albeit with different tuning to make it more suited to the DBX. And though acceleration figures haven’t been revealed, a top speed of more than 180mph has been touted.

Aston Martin DBX rally testing

Aston Martin’s chief engineer Matt Becker commented on the engine, saying: “We have concentrated our work to ensure that the calibration and tune of this 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 delivers both the everyday usability and refinement expected by SUV owners. However, we have also focused heavily on matching that with the engaging driving dynamics that are commanded by our brand and inherent in every Aston Martin.

And though very, very few owners are ever likely to take their DBX off-road, the brand has reassured them that it will at least be capable of it. A video released with the car’s last teaser shows the model making mincemeat of a Welsh rally stage.

What else do we know?

Not a great deal. We were fortunate enough to spy a camouflaged DBX ourselves in the queue for the Eurotunnel crossing, though tight-lipped drivers and very well-hidden features meant we weren’t able to see too much more than what Aston Martin has already revealed.

Aston Martin DBX front spy shot

However, we are able to say that in the flesh, the DBX is a fairly compact thing – far closer to the likes of the Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne than the hulking frames of the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan or Range Rover SVAutobiography. The styling, albeit camouflaged, appears to hold up well in the flesh, though we’re not convinced by the Vantage-inspired ducktail spoiler.

The DBX will be built at Aston Martin’s new St Athan facility in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, which will also become the ‘home of electrification’ for future fully electric Astons. They’ll form the reborn Lagonda brand, set to launch in 2021 and sit alongside the conventionally powered DB11, Vantage and DBS Superleggera.

The new DBX will be revealed in full in December.