Aston Martin DBX: latest news on Aston Martin's first crossover
Aston Martin's DBX concept is an electric all-wheel-drive GT crossover previewing a production car to be built in Wales.
The new Aston Martin DBX crossover SUV will be hand built in Wales at a new £200m factory in St Athan. Aston bosses have confirmed details of the companies investment into a new factory for the DBX, which it hopes will propel the brand into more mainstream levels of profitability.
The Aston Martin DBX will be the brand's entry into the booming super-luxury SUV market where it will go up against the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Urus and Maserati Levante, and to a lesser extent top-spec variants of the Range Rover.
The DBX luxury GT car concept from Aston Martin surprised us all by appearing at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015. It was the first time we'd ever seen or heard of the car that represents a whole new direction for the brand.
The Aston Martin DBX concept is the British firm's first all-electric, all-wheel-drive crossover - and we now know it will lead directly to a production model. It's described as Aston's first "family friendly" GT and also has a more "environmentally responsible" approach, helping to offset emissions from the rest of the cars built by the firm.
The DBX is a striking car, with a modern take on the traditional Aston Martin styling elements. The wide grille keeps it in line with the brand's image, along with the svelte front profile, but the higher ride height demonstrates the firm's intentions for non-sporting capabilities. At the rear, two-tone buttresses adorn the sloping roofline, and the rear end sports familiar Aston LED lights.
Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015, Aston design director Marek Reichman explained: "This [the DBX] is a concept that introduces the idea of a crossover GT. It will be more accommodating in its final form, with five doors. To achieve that, the wheelbase doesn't need to change much, but the roofline will.
"The electric powertrain is definitely realistic. It's an inevitability that emission-free driving will come, and to some customers in the future it will be a requirement. To be sold globally, it will probably need a choice of conventional powertrains, too.
"The solar trickle chargers on the rear parcel shelf are to run the air-con when the car is standing in the sun – important in core markets like the Middle East, US and China. These floating pillars will become a signature on our more gentile models, like the DB9."
Technical details are scarce as yet, but we know the DBX concept sports a powerful electric motor in place of the firm's traditional V12 engine. Power is also sent to all four wheels for the first time on an Aston.
Despite the advanced engineering underneath, chairman Dr Andy Palmer was quick to point out that this is "clearly not a production-ready sports GT car" and instead previews what a luxury GT.
"I am solely focused on making Aston Martin sustainable and relevant for the long term," explained Palmer. "Our future can't be based on a narrow product portfolio and one type of customer. If we stick with the current line-up, we restrict our numbers and inhibit ourselves from continually renewing the portfolio. An Aston should be rare, but we can grow carefully and become relevant to more customers.
"Our core sports cars will always be capped to 7,000 units. But by the end of the decade, we will replace every car in the range and add three new models. Every model will have striking design differences – you can see that in the DB10 and Vulcan."
Palmer also spoke to Auto Express about Aston Martin’s three-tier family; sports, luxury and SUV. “ The DBX is the third pillar, which is the reinvention of the sports car. Each of those cars has a clear customer in front of it,” Palmer told us.