Is the DBX a true Aston Martin?
Yes, or no, it's going to be a hit!
The legendary British brand was one of the last sports car manufacturers to not offer an SUV in their lineup. But the world has changed and Aston Martin desperately needed a best-seller to survive. The answer is the controversial DBX, or in other words, Gaydon's first ever off-roader. They could not mess this up, as the DBX still had to please the purists, but also attract new customers. An Aston Martin SUV may be blasphemous for some people, but the DBX has a few tricks up its sleeve to make you believe it truly has its place in the brand's lineup.
Aston Martin is mostly known for sports cars like the DBS, or grand tourers like the DB11. These cars have always been about power, speed, luxury, and beautiful designs. That has been the case since the beginnings of the company in 1913. Therefore, when the automaker announced they will be launching an SUV in 2020, it did not please everyone. Aston Martin understands that but absolutely needs this car to bring cash and keep on producing sports cars. However, Gaydon were not just going to make a sloppy SUV with a fancy badge on the hood. No. It had to convey the essence of the brand, it had to be quick, luxurious, and be an Aston Martin above all.
And it starts with the design, because that's just the first thing you notice when seeing the car. Personally, I don't think they could have done a better job. There's the signature grille, V8 Vantage-inspired taillights, and some lines that are unmistakably Aston Martin. It's a divisive subject but I reckon that they didn't make the same errors as Porsche did with the first Cayenne, so that's quite remarkable. The Aston Martin touch makes even more sense once you step into the cabin. It's spacious, beautifully finished, as refined as ever, and the tech is up to standards. Since the DBX is more of a daily than the rest of the range, the seats are extremely plush and contrarily to the Rapide, the SUV comfortably seats five people. The infotainment screen is the largest we have ever seen in any Aston Martin and you can pretty much make the car your own by configuring every single aspect of the car, from ride height to sound system preferences. It all works perfectly, and it's up to the standards set by larger automakers.
As Aston Martin as the looks and interior can be, it also needs to drive like one. The DBX is equipped with the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that you'd find in the Vantage, but here it makes a rather potent 550 horsepower. This SUV is exceptionally quick, and it will effortlessly reach speeds above 180 mph. So, it's fast like an Aston Martin and it also sounds like one. There's crackles and pops, it's loud, and it just makes you think that you're in a supercar, not a practical family SUV. But then come corners, and the DBX, despite its size, handles pretty well. Aston Martin has done such an amazing job on the car's dynamics that it really feels like a higher up sports car. The versatility of the DBX doesn't just stop to it's practicality as a family SUV, or it's driving capabilities as a sports car. It can also go off-road! Never thought I'd take an Aston Martin off the beaten path, but here we are. Thanks to a dedicated terrain mode and suspension tweaks you can now go through muddy roads, climb and descent hills in the full comfort of your Aston Martin.
Hate it or love, the DBX is the most Aston Martin of this century. It has the potential to keep the iconic automaker alive while offering one of the best sports SUVs on the market. It manages to keep what is relevant for Aston Martin purists, while adding features that are important for the people who are new to the brand. The DBX remarkably stands out in this crowded market, and it would be impressive even if they had been practicing for years.
We would like to thank Aston Martin Geneva and Pegasus Automotive Group for providing us with this beautiful Aston Martin DBX. Without them, this article would have never been possible. Aston Martin Geneva has one of the most beautiful dealerships in Switzerland. From "regular" Aston Martins to One-77s, Zagatos and more vintage cars, they seem to have it all. And did we forget to mention that there is a part of the showroom dedicated to Rolls-Royce and Koenigsegg? Also, a huge thank you goes to the team of PR&Co for organizing this test drive.
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Aston Martin DBX