Aston Martin will hardly be alone in the premium sports SUV market with the launch of the DBX, their hotly anticipated foray into a wholly new area for the British marque. Some may lament their focus expanding away from their speciality in grand touring coupes to accommodate a high-riding five-door, but it’s a growth market that simply cannot be ignored.
Heck, even Ferrari are itching for a fight and will be fielding the upcoming Purosangue in the coming years. Lotus, too, high on Geely money, are expected to reveal their performance crossover ambitions within a similar timeframe.
For such a niche corner, this is an unusually crowded one. Aston will join a highly competitive frontline, populated by existing heavy hitters such as Porsche’s Cayenne and Macan pair, the Maserati Levante, Jaguar F-Pace SVR, BMW X5 M, Mercedes-AMG GLC 63, and the Lamborghini Urus.
The stakes will be high, but Aston Martin are fairly confident that the DBX’s breadth of talent will be a difficult proposition to walk away from - and there’s also that badge. In the lead up to its scheduled unveil in December, the Gaydon-based company have shed a bit more light on what we can expect from this finished version.
Specifically, they’ve detailed its extensive real-world and high performance stress-testing programme, with the latter being conducted between Aston Martin’s two major engineering centres at the Nurburgring in Germany and the Silverstone circuit in the UK, with the former location involved mostly with durability and endurance trials.
Aston’s engineers have reported to have honed the DBX’s dynamics to achieve cornering speeds on par with their purpose-built sports cars such as the Vantage while braking figures are improved even over the DBS Superleggera, amounting to a regular lap time of under 8 minutes around the Nordschleife.
Also confirmed is the model’s use of the AMG-sourced M178 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8, this time producing 404kW and 700Nm; at least 25kW more than the output found in the Vantage and DB11, and acoustically tuned to deliver a soundtrack more distinctly AML and less Affalterbach. Drive will be sent to all four wheels, making the DBX the first Aston Martin to not be exclusive RWD.
It’s transmission has not been detailed, but expect it to be the same 8-speed ZF 8HP torque converter auto used in the rest of the present line-up. Known for its smoothness and fast shifts, it no doubt contributes to the DBX’s presumably quick all-paw-assisted acceleration, a figure which has not been disclosed. Top speed, meanwhile, is confirmed to be beyond 300km/h.
“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 early indications of the car’s overall performance have been incredibly promising.” - Matt Becker, Aston Martin’s Chief Engineer.