Through difficult terrain

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through difficult terrain

Aston Martin is launching its first SUV, the DBX. This plays an important role.

New and yet familiar: the DBX is Aston Martin’s first SUV, but incorporates familiar design features both inside and out.

Very few can afford an Aston Martin – but many dream of it. The British sports car manufacturer, which also provides James Bond with the right cars, has a unique image and thus a firm place in the automotive world – although the British only build a good 5000 cars a year.

Unfortunately, the traditional brand was and is plagued by financial worries time and again in its 107-year history; only in April of this year were new investors able to avert renewed insolvency. And now things are looking up – in the truest sense of the word: the British have put a lot of effort into developing their first SUV, which is being produced in a purpose-built factory in Wales. The success of the new SUV model is therefore a crucial building block for the future of the brand. A situation reminiscent of the beginnings of the Porsche Cayenne. The sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart was also in financial difficulties at the beginning of the 2000s and urgently needed success. “At that time, almost all of our customers still had a Range Rover in their garage. So we asked ourselves why we shouldn’t also offer them a car like this,” recalls Harm Laagay, the Porsche designer at the time. The plan worked – the Cayenne brought the brand back to success.

Difficult task

The plan is coherent and proven to be promising. But also anything but easy to implement. Because the Aston-Martin SUV DBX has to convince in many ways. It should be sporty and emotional in order to credibly embody the genes of the brand. It also needs off-road talent to keep up with strong competition from Land Rover & Co. – literally new territory for Aston Martin. It has to be practical and spacious to convince customers in the SUV segment. At the same time, it is elegant and streamlined to appeal to fans of the brand. In short: The new DBX has to deal with some almost insoluble conflicts.

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through difficult terrain-difficult

Aston Martin DBX

round thing

In order to meet the requirements for space and utility, the DBX has grown in size. With a length of 5.04 meters, it is 26 centimeters longer than the aforementioned Porsche Cayenne. This is especially noticeable in the back seats. Here you can sit comfortably with plenty of knee room, even on long journeys – and enjoy plenty of light thanks to the standard panoramic roof. Add to that the large trunk, which easily rivals the competition and certainly makes the DBX the most practical Aston Martin ever.

Nevertheless, the SUV looks far less bulky than the dimensions suggest. The short front and rear overhangs not only help off-road, but also make the Aston appear slimmer. The front and rear adopt the design language of the in-house sports car. The large radiator grille with wide metal struts and the slim, continuous rear light with spoiler tail are reminiscent of the two-seater Vantage, but here they are designed one size larger. “It’s probably the biggest grille we’ve ever installed on an Aston Martin,” says designer Marek Reichman. The brand logo has also been enlarged so that it fits into the overall picture.

up and down

The DBX is the first Aston Martin to feature height-adjustable air suspension and all-wheel drive. This is the only way the SUV can cut a good figure both on the road and off-road. During the first test on the off-road course, the noble Briton shows no shyness about getting his large 22-inch wheels dirty. The air suspension allows a maximum of 23.5 centimeters of ground clearance; this means that water ditches that are 50 centimeters deep can also be driven through. The all-wheel drive has an active center differential and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential on the rear axle. In this way, the driving forces can be distributed appropriately on loose ground and the DBX also digs through deep mud – while the driver sits in the noble interior with finely crafted Scottish leather.

Even if the British all-rounder proves to be quite talented off-road, it will mostly be on the road. Either as a comfortable glider with good noise and suspension comfort, or with sporty driving pleasure, as you would expect from an Aston Martin. The all-wheel drive is very rear-biased, the active roll stabilization eliminates uncomfortable body roll and the steering is very direct. The high weight is only noticeable in very tight corners. But hardly on the straights, where the well-known strong V8 ensures light-footed acceleration and sports car sound; however, consumption is high at 14.3 l/100 km. But with a basic price of around 185,000 francs, the DBX should remain an exclusive sight on our streets anyway – but this Aston Martin also has what it takes to be a dream car.

Aston Martin DBX

Engine: V8 biturbo, 3982 cm3

Power: 550 hp/700 Nm

Drive: 9-speed automatic, 4×4

L×W×H: 5039x1998x1680mm

trunk volume: 632 l

Weight: 2245kg

0-100km/h: 4.5 sec.

Vmax: 291km/h

Consumption plant (WLTP): 14.3L/100km

Price: from about 185,000 francs

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