ASTON MARTIN’S first-ever SUV has hit the tarmac, or dirt rather, in prototype form in the first of a series of testing programmes which will see the newly-named DBX travel the world’s harshest terrains.
Although SUVs are a completely new venture for the British marque, Aston Martin’s teaser shots display a familiar face for the luxury crossover, while the rear end includes a duckbill-style lip spoiler that’s another visual link to the marque’s existing range of sports cars.
Unlike similar rivals like the Jaguar F-Pace and Maserati Levante, which leverage existing vehicular platforms from their respective brands, the DBX will debut a completely different architecture unrelated to its DB11 and Vantage sports cars.
As such, the DBX requires a bespoke test regime that will encompass new processes, procedures and standards that will ensure it lives up to its all-purpose intentions. Throughout the next year, Aston Martin will take the DBX from the frozen Arctic Circle to the scorching deserts of the Middle East, and then on to German autobahns and the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife.
The development prototype can be seen on video, tackling a Welsh rally stage at the hands of Aston Martin’s Chief Engineer, Matt Becker.
Following his first drive of the DBX in the ‘real world’, Becker said: “We have already developed and tuned DBX in the driving simulator, which has enabled us to make excellent progress in advance of the first physical prototype cars being available.
“It’s always a big day when you get to put the first actual miles on an early prototype and I’m delighted with the near perfect correlation between the simulator and this prototype.
“DBX is a very different kind of Aston Martin, but we will be testing it in all conditions and across all terrains to ensure it delivers a driving experience worthy of the wings badge.”
The DBX is on schedule to launch globally in Q4 2019, and will be built at Aston Martin’s St Athan production facility located in Wales - the same facility that will eventually build the brand’s full-EV models.