James Bond’s new ride revealed
THE company best known for providing James Bond's svelte, swift and seductive rides is going through a drastic transformation.
Aston Martin has revealed its new DBX, the brand's first SUV.
The British maker took the covers off the DBX in China, where the insatiable appetite for luxury SUVs has driven the growth in the category in recent years.
Following in the tracks of Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce in producing a premium SUV, Aston Martin is hoping the DBX will emulate the success of those brands, enticing new customers and tallying soaring sales.
Aston Martin chief Andy Palmer says: "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."
The DBX will land in Australia in the middle of next year, priced from $357,000 before on-road costs.
This puts the DBX up against the base Bentley Bentayga ($334,700) and Lamborghini Urus ($390,000) but well below the $685,000 Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
Aston's beefy 4.0-litre turbo V8 makes an impressive 405kW/700Nm and delivers power to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission.
That is enough grunt to shift the 2200kg-plus machine from 0-100km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 291km/h.
The DBX is built on a dedicated SUV platform and won't share underpinnings with any current sports car stablemates.
However, Aston Martin has worked to make its SUV more like the rest of its range.
The bulky body is supported by air suspension that can raise the ride height by 45mm and lower it by 50mm. There are multiple driving modes and the suspension is tuned to provide extra anti-roll support to improve driving capabilities - it's claimed to be more like a sports car than an SUV.
An SUV must justify its existence and give the illusion that it can do things conventional sedans and coupes can't. Duly, the DBX is rated to tow 2700kg and has a wading depth of 500mm, both well below the capabilities of true off-roaders such as the Toyota LandCruiser.
Aston Martin has designed the DBX to accommodate drivers of all shapes and sizes except the very largest men and the tiniest women.
The inside is as luxurious as you would expect for $350K-plus.
In the cavernous cabin, made possible by an enormous wheelbase, there is ample room front and rear.
The glove box and controls for key functions were designed by committee, taking feedback from the company's female advisory board, dealers and global focus groups.
Passengers are enveloped in premium leather seats and passengers don't have to fight over a central arm rest - each gets a dedicated, leather bound shelf for their lounging pleasure.
Metal and timber veneer trims adorn the cabin. Owners can also choose upholstery made from a wool or flax composite, the latter giving a linen-like finish.
A giant digital instrument display and slightly smaller central screen dominate the dash and there's concert hall reproduction from the pumping 800W, 14-speaker audio.
The company reckons the DBX will assist in reaching customers who prefer to be driven than to drive. Latest safety kit includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot warning.