The 2021 Aston Martin DBX debuts on the eve of a jammed-packed Los Angeles Auto show, and it signals a new direction for the iconic, 106-year-old brand as it expands its portfolio to include an SUV for the first time. The DBX allows Aston to play in the luxury SUV segment. SUVs often become a brand's best-selling vehicle, and it appears Aston has designed the DBX with no other purpose than to succeed.
A twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 – taken from the DB11 and Vantage, but tuned for the DBX – produces 542 horsepower (404 kilowatts) and 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters) of torque. Power travels through a nine-speed automatic to the SUV's all-wheel-drive system that features an active central diff and an electric rear limited-slip differential.
The high-riding Aston features an active exhaust system and cylinder deactivation. Aston says the DBX, which weighs 4,940 pounds (2,245 kilograms), rockets to 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds and 100 kilometers per hour in 4.5 seconds. Its top speed is 181 mph (291 kph).
Inside, the DBX has the luxury goods to match its performance chops. There are full-grain leather-trimmed seats. The headliner and electric roof blind are both available in Alcantara. You can get Q by Aston Martin, the company's personalization service, to machine you the bridged center console out of a piece of solid wood. Aston suggests walnut.
Like other SUVs, it can hold stuff: 22.3 cubic feet (832 liters) with second-row seats up, 54 cu. ft. (1,540 L) seats down – and you can access that stuff in the back through the 40:20:40 split rear seats. Helping you see that stuff is a full-length glass panoramic sunroof. Up front, there's a 10.25-inch infotainment system, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster informs the driver. Apple CarPlay is standard, along with a 360-degree camera system.
Those eager to own a DBX could opt for one with the exclusive 1913 Package. It has all the standard touches of exclusivity – unique fender badges, sill plaques, and an inscription plague. But Aston goes even further for the first 500 DBX owners. The company says CEO Andy Palmer will personally inspect and endorse each example.
Gallery: 2021 Aston Martin DBX
Each customer will also receive a build-book signed by Palmer and Aston's Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, along with an invitation to a "regionally hosted Waldorf Astoria celebration cocktail party." Your host will be an Aston Martin Lagonda executive team member.
While this is an SUV, it's an SUV with an Aston badge and an interior full of leather, and that doesn't come cheap. When Aston begins delivering the first DBXs to North American customers in the second half of next year, you'll know they paid at least $192,986, which includes the $3,089 destination charge.
ASTON MARTIN UNVEILS DBX: AN SUV WITH THE SOUL OF A SPORTS CAR
19 NOVEMBER 2019, LOS ANGELES: A bold new chapter and a landmark moment in Aston Martin’s illustrious 106-year history, Aston Martin has today unveiled its first SUV; a model that will propel the brand to new heights worldwide, the DBX.
The culmination of an extensive development program that began with physical testing in Wales last year and virtual development stretching back to 2015, DBX signals a new era in Aston Martin’s pursuit to deliver exceptional performance, style and usability in a segment previously unexplored by the world-famous manufacturer. Bringing both the versatility and indulgence expected of a luxury SUV with sports car levels of dynamic performance, DBX sets a bold new standard in this sector.
Aston Martin Lagonda President & Group CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer said: “I can’t emphasize enough how incredibly exciting and significant DBX is for Aston Martin. Through its development alone, this beautiful SUV has already taken the company into new territories and in inspiring directions. DBX also marks a key moment in the delivery of the third and final phase of our Second Century Plan, not only representing the promised expansion of our portfolio but also signaling the start of production at Aston Martin’s second manufacturing plant. 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.”
Set to be built in Aston Martin’s purpose-built manufacturing facility in St Athan, Wales, the foundation of DBX is a new dedicated SUV platform, something rarely seen across the sector. More than ever before, this clean sheet of paper has allowed all departments within Aston Martin to innovate and push the boundaries of what British design and engineering can create, resulting in a truly remarkable product.
Utilizing bonded aluminum, a construction method Aston Martin has refined through the development of its sports cars, the body structure is both very light and incredibly stiff, assisting in the delivery of an overall curb weight under 5,000 pounds (2,245kg).
Right from its genesis, it was designed to allow maximum room in the cabin, yielding class leading spaciousness for both front and rear occupants. Meanwhile, the exceptional stiffness inherent in the design of the new platform has also enabled DBX to achieve exceptional dynamics both on- and off-road.
Adaptive triple volume air suspension has been combined with the latest 48V electric anti-roll control system (eARC) and electronic adaptive dampers to provide the new SUV with a huge breadth of ability. With its capacity to raise the ride height by 45mm (1.77 in.) or lower it by 50mm (1.97 in.) the air suspension gives any driver the confidence to tackle a wide range of terrain. While this of course provides benefits while on the move, the system can be further programmed to aid with ingress, egress and loading requirements, aiding on a practical level.
The adaptive triple chamber air springs enable variable spring stiffness, giving both luxurious comfort and dynamic prowess. Extraordinarily the eARC – capable of 1,400Nm (1,033 ft.-lb.) of anti-roll force per axle – can limit DBX’s body roll for handling that is much more akin to that of a sports car than an SUV. This sophisticated system of adaptive air suspension, dampers and eARC allows for maximum ride comfort when transporting up to five occupants and their luggage, while maintaining a highly responsive and engaging dynamic capability on-demand.
Powered by a new version of the characterful 4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine found in DB11 and Vantage, DBX features an impressive output of 542hp (550PS) and 516ft.-lb (700NM) of torque, carefully tuned to meet the specific needs of this model. With a sound character that is unquestionably Aston Martin, the active exhaust system ensures this is a luxury SUV that can sound refined one moment and exhilarating the next. The engine’s versatility isn’t restricted to its vocals either; the turbocharged V8 has cylinder deactivation technology to enhance fuel economy, yet it can also propel DBX from 0 to 60mph in 4.3 secs. (0 to 100kph in 4.5 secs.) and on to a top speed of 181mph.
Transmitting this power and torque to the ground is a nine-speed torque convertor automatic gearbox, allied to an all-wheel drive system with an active central differential and an electronic rear limited slip differential (eDiff). This allows torque to be moved precisely both fore and aft in the vehicle and also across the rear axle. When combined with the bespoke steering system that has been tuned to deliver feel and sports car-like response, DBX imbues the driver with an overriding sense of control, whatever the conditions.
Aston Martin’s first ever full-size 5-seat model is not only exceptionally versatile in terms of the terrain that it can tackle, it is also extremely adaptable to a wide variety of lifestyle needs and owners. Designed to accommodate every driver from the world’s 99th percentile male to the 5th percentile female, DBX has been very deliberately created with instant familiarity and ease of use from the start.
With 22.3 cu. ft. (632 liters) of trunk space behind the second row, DBX possesses all the flexible load capacity expected of an SUV with class-leading interior space. Once the 40:20:40 split rear seats are folded storage volume increases to 54.0 cu. ft. (1,530 liters) of space. The load space offers a practical and cleanly designed space. A narrow load sill and broad aperture maximizes the practicality for a variety of luggage, such as suitcases, golf bags and ski equipment.
Complimenting the incredibly high standard specification of DBX, which includes all available active safety systems, there are many optional accessory packages offered. These packages will tailor the vehicle even further to customers’ needs, sports or pastimes. For example, the Pet Package will include, amongst other things, a portable washer to help attend to the needs of a muddy dog after a walk. Alternatively, the Snow Package will deliver boot warmers to make a ski trip just that little bit more pleasurable.
The luxuriously handcrafted interior of DBX has been designed to provide equal space and comfort whether sitting in the front or rear. Class-leading headroom and legroom combine with a full-length glass panoramic roof and frameless door glass to offer a fantastically light and spacious cabin environment. The use of sports car seat packaging in the front not only provides the driver with exceptional support and long-distance driving comfort, but also provides knee and footwell clearance for those sitting behind.
Small touches throughout, including separate central armrests, glovebox design and the ergonomic positioning of the key control systems, have been guided carefully by the input of the brand’s Female Advisory Board, dealership feedback and a variety of private focus groups held worldwide. Not limited to this area, the guidance provided has been key to the success of DBX’s overall design.
The seats are trimmed in sumptuous, full-grain leather, sourced from long term partner Bridge of Weir. Also available is an industry-first application of a fabric made from 80 percent wool. Another industry first, both the headlining and electric roof blind are available in a luxurious Alcantara® finish, providing a harmonious design, light obscuration and solar attenuation without compromising headroom. Throughout the cabin, DBX maintains an authenticity of materials, with judicious use of metal, glass and wood throughout the cabin.
Another design highlight includes the elegantly crafted bridged center console allowing for both flexible storage below and a beautiful, architectural centerpiece. This feature keeps valuables close to hand while not occupying the passenger seat and away from dirt on the car’s floor mats. As part of ‘Q by Aston Martin’ – Aston Martin’s personalization service – optional features of this center console can be machined from a solid piece of wood, such as Walnut, for added tactility.
A contemporary range of exquisite wood, composite and metal veneers ensure that the cabin can be tailored to any taste. This includes a range of innovative materials and an industry first application of a fabric made from 80 percent wool. One such veneer is a new flax composite – derived from the same plant as fine linen –which provides a distinctive design aesthetic.
Framed by these materials is an abundance of technology. A 10.25-inch TFT screen sits elegantly flush in the center console, while a huge 12.3-inch TFT screen provides a wealth of information to the driver. Apple CarPlay comes as standard, as does a 360-degree camera system and ambient lighting that offers 64 different colors in two zones.
DBX’s exterior works as hard as the interior at bringing the elegance of Aston Martin’s sports cars into the world of the SUV. From the signature ‘DB’ grille at the front, through the sculptured sides and design feature line, to the tailgate with a flip that draws inspiration from Vantage, this is an Aston Martin from first glance to detailed inspection. Beautiful details like the hidden side glass seals on the frameless doors and glass B-pillar finishers add an elegant sleekness to the stance. Cutaway sills also narrow the stepover required to enter the sumptuous cabin, while reducing the risk of ruining a fine dress or suit on arrival to a dinner engagement.
Aerodynamics were an important consideration within the design process and this included the novel experience for the team running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tests, including modelling a DBX towing a trailer with a DB6 on it. At the front, the daytime running lights (DRLs) have an integrated aerodynamic duct, which channels air through the front wheel arches and along the side, helping to reduce both drag and lift while also cooling the brakes. Air flows cleanly over the roof, through the rear wing, over the sharply-raked rear window and on to the upswept rear flip. This unique approach and design detail allow the rear screen to self-clear on the move. Aerodynamic design has also played a key part in passenger comfort because as one of only a few companies using computational aeroacoustics technology, Aston Martin’s engineers have been able to keep cabin noise to a minimum at speed.
Aston Martin is incredibly proud that DBX, an SUV intended to expand the sales reach of the brand worldwide, will be built in Britain at its new manufacturing plant in St Athan, Wales. With its all-wheel drive system, DBX is a vehicle that will allow the company to increase its presence in markets where perhaps the weather or terrain is less than conducive to rear-wheel drive sports cars. The clear emphasis on a spacious and luxurious cabin – whether seated in the front or back – will also allow Aston Martin to better reach customers who prefer to be driven rather than drive.
Further adding to the desirability of DBX, the first 500 owners of this landmark model will benefit from an exclusive ‘1913 Package’. Fitted with a unique fender badge, sill plaques and an inspection plaque detailing its limited build-run, each of these first examples will be personally endorsed and inspected by Andy Palmer. In addition, each customer will also receive a unique build-book signed by both Aston Martin’s CEO and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and an invitation to a regionally hosted Waldorf Astoria celebration cocktail party, hosted by a member of the Aston Martin Lagonda executive team.
Dr Andy Palmer said: “DBX is a car that will give many people their first experience of Aston Martin ownership. As such it needed to be true to the core values established in our sports cars, while also providing the lifestyle versatility expected of a luxury SUV. To have produced such a beautiful, hand built, yet technologically advanced car is a proud moment for Aston Martin.” The DBX is priced from $189,900 USD in the United States and $218,400 CAD in Canada not including destination and handling charges of $3,086 and $3,980 respectively; first deliveries will commence in the second half of 2020 in North America. Visit AstonMartin.com/en-us for additional information on available options, pricing or to find a local retailer.