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Aston DBX finally laid bare

Aston Martin’s first SUV emerges in full ahead of local deliveries from mid-2020

20 Nov 2019

ASTON Martin has officially unveiled its all-important inaugural SUV, the DBX, in China this week ahead of first deliveries in Australia due mid-2020. 


As reported earlier this month when the order books officially opened for Australian buyers, the British sports-luxury car-maker has set a starting price of $357,000 plus on-road costs, which sees the DBX slot in beneath the Lamborghini Urus (from $390,000) but stand above the likes of the Bentley Bentayga ($334,700) and Maserati Levante Trofeo ($330,000).


While Aston has committed to offering electrified powertrains across its range during next decade, the sole powertrain offered on DBX for now is an AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 which in this application produces 405kW of power at 6500rpm and 700Nm of torque from 2200-5000rpm.


Driving through a nine-speed torque-converter automatic transmission and permanent four-wheel-drive system, the five-seat super-luxury all-terrain wagon can accelerate from 0-100km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds, on its way to a maximum speed of 291km/h.


Stated fuel economy and emissions are less impressive for the 2245kg DBX, with ‘targeted’ figures pointing to 14.3 litres per 100km mileage on the EU combined cycle (WLTP), and 269g/km of CO2 (NEDC). 


This comes despite the use of a weight-saving bonded aluminium bodyshell and aluminium and composite body panels. 


Remaining relatively faithful to the dimensions and design of the concept unveiled at the Geneva motor show way back in 2015, the production version of the DBX is built on an all-new dedicated SUV platform, rests on a 3060mm wheelbase and measures 5039mm long, 2220mm wide (including mirrors) and 1680mm high.


Those planning to take the DBX off-road will note that it has 190mm of ground clearance, with the ride height able to be raised by up to 45mm (or lowered by 50mm) via an adaptive triple-chamber air suspension system used with the double-wishbone front and rear multi-link hardware. 


A 48-volt electric anti-roll control system (eARC) and electronic adaptive dampers are also employed. 


The drivetrain includes an electronic active centre transfer case, electronic rear limited-slip differential and six adaptive drive modes – four for on-road driving and two for off-road.


Maximum wading depth is listed at 500mm, the turning circle 12.4m (using the electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion system, with 2.6 turns lock-to-lock), towing capacity 2700kg and the weight distribution 54:46 front/rear.


Approach, departure and breakover angles are 22.2, 24.3 and 15.1 degrees respectively.


The sleek five-door body style make this unmistakeably an Aston Martin with signature elements such as the ‘DB’ grille, light air ducts (with daytime running lights) and rear light blade. The clamshell bonnet has twin vents and the rear end is fitted with an aero wing, while the doors are frameless and the roof carries rails and a full-length panoramic glass panel. 


The lights are LEDs front and rear, including foglights, with bi-LEDs in the headlights (with auto high beam) and an active function on the rear brake lights.


The standard wheel size is 22 inches, shod with mixed Pirelli P Zero tyres – 285/40 at the front and 325/35 out back – and nestled in behind the striking alloy rims are ventilated disc brakes measuring 410mm diameter up front (with six-piston callipers) and 390mm at the rear. 


An electric park brake is used, along with a raft of electronic handling and safety devices spanning all the usual traction, stability and braking systems you should expect from a vehicle placed this high up in the market. 


These include active driver assist features such as traffic-sign recognition, rear-cross traffic alert, three lane-related aids, autonomous emergency braking (with only pedestrian detection, not cyclist it seems), forward collision warning, active cruise control and 360-degree camera system. 


The plush cabin is claimed to offer class-leading headroom and legroom, and is swathed in ‘Caithness’ leather upholstery, Alcantara headlining, piano-black wood veneer on the centre console, and satin chrome highlights elsewhere.


The front seats have 12-way electric adjustment with three-position memory, and both front and rear seats can be heated. The back seats have a 40/20/40 split-fold to boost luggage capacity beyond the standard 632 litres (plus up to 62L underfloor).


Other interior reference points include a 12.3-inch TFT driver information display, 10.25-inch TFT central display, 800W 14-speaker audio system, sat-nav, four USB points, three 12-volt power outlets, high-level smartphone connectivity, acoustic laminated side glass and three-zone climate control and ambient lighting (64 colours, dual zone).


A long list of optional equipment and accessories are offered inside and out, from the familiar (high-grade leather, different wheel designs) to higher tech (gesture control on the tailgate) and less conventional items for the Aston Martin brand, such as a towing kit and a Pet package with a portable washer “to help attend to the needs of a muddy dog after a walk”.


Aston says much of the interior packaging and design, including central armrest, glovebox design and the ergonomic positioning of the key control systems, were “guided carefully by the input of the brand’s Female Advisory Board, dealership feedback and a variety of private focus groups held worldwide”.


Expect more powertrain options to emerge before long for the DBX, which is the first model to be built at Aston’s new factory in St Athan, Wales.

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