All About the First Aston Martin SUV

How DBX is going to compete with the Cayenne and the Bentayga.

For the past few years, Aston Martin has been going from one extreme to the other, trying to transform itself from a sports car manufacturer to a lifestyle retailer. In search of new niches, the brand announces yacht and development projects, shows bathyscaphes, and for the first time in its history, together with Brough Superior, produces a motorcycle. However, this does not interfere with the main business: collectible models are released with enviable regularity, and now the company is still broken by SUV fever. The DBX, as a concept shown back in 2015, has evolved into a utilitarian all-terrain vehicle, ready to compete with the Lamborghini Urus, top-end versions of the Porsche Cayenne and the audacious Maserati Levante Trofeo with the «eight» Ferrari.

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Aston Martin has finally revealed its first SUV. The overall length of the car is 5,039 mm, width — 1,998 mm, height — 1,680 mm, and the wheelbase — 3,060 mm. For comparison, the 550-hp Porsche Cayenne Turbo is 113 millimeters shorter, 15 millimeters narrower and 7 millimeters lower. Its wheelbase is 165 millimeters smaller than that of the Aston.

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DBX uses a new glued aluminum chassis with an architecture similar to other models of the brand. The light and rigid body is reinforced at the points of attachment of the engine and suspension elements and consists of castings connected by strong pressed profiles. This design requires less sealant and noise insulation, allowing you to reduce their weight to 30 kilograms. Moreover, the methods of increasing acoustic and vibration comfort are the same as those used on the DBS Superleggera.

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However, there are also its own features: a double shield is installed between the interior and the engine compartment for the first time on the Aston Martin; the transmission tunnel was originally designed in such a way that together with the upholstery to fight the penetration of noise; instead of a two-part driveshaft, as in competitors, a single carbon fiber part is used.

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The front suspension of the DBX is assembled on double wishbones, the rear — multi-link. The SUV is equipped with three-chamber pneumatic cylinders and 48-volt Electromechanical stabilizers (eARC). In the most aggressive mode, they reduce the rolls to the DB 11 level, and in the off-road mode, they open up to increase the wheel strokes. Thanks to the combination of a «short» steering rack and eARC in motion, the DBX is perceived as a sports car.

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The all-wheel drive system of the all-road Aston consists of an electronically controlled distributor and a rear differential. By default, the thrust is divided in the proportion of 47:53, but if necessary, the rear axle receives almost all the available torque. The transmission is able to control the thrust vector, famously twisting the crossover in turns using an active gearbox and brakes: with 410-mm rotors and six-piston calipers in the front and 390-mm rotors and floating brackets in the rear.

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Although the Aston SUV is not contraindicated to drive off paved roads. Its standard ground clearance is 190 mm and maximum is 235 mm. The angles of the entrance, exit and ramp at the highest position of the air suspension are 25.7, 28.1 and 18.8 degrees, respectively.

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The all-terrain vehicle can pass a ford up to half a meter deep and is equipped with two driving modes for off-road driving (Terrain and Terrain+). In addition, this is the first Aston Martin model equipped with a descent assist system and a new Bosch stabilization system and rollover protection.

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The DBX is equipped with a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 Mercedes-AMG (550 hp and 700 Nm). This is 40 hp and 25 Nm more than that of the Vantage and DB11. The unit changed the compression ratio (8.6:1), upgraded turbochargers with electronically controlled bypass valves, installed more productive intercoolers and an exhaust system with active flaps.

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A pair of the most powerful V8 in the current line of Aston Martin is a nine-speed automatic transmission with a torque converter. It is recalibrated for maximum «rate of fire» in extreme modes, but at the same time is able to withstand the towing of a 2.7-ton trailer — such a dualism, according to motorist Jorg Ross, the company sought when designing the «DBX».

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A 0-100 km/h time is stated at the level of 4.5 seconds. The maximum speed is 291 km/h. In terms of dynamics, the Aston has parity with the Bentley Bentayga (V8 4.0; 550 hp and 770 Nm), but it is inferior to the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Maserati Levante GTS/Trofeo.

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The Porsche Cayenne Turbo (V8 4.0; 550 hp and 770 Nm) «shoots» up to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and gains a maximum of 286 km/h. The Maserati Levante GTS (530 hp and 730 Nm) and the Trofeo (580 hp) with a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 Ferrari accelerate to 100 km/h in 4.3 and 4.1 seconds, respectively. The maximum that an Italian couple can do is 291 km/h and 300 km/h.

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Design is the main thing in the crossover segment, so by shifting the visual perception of the mass of the DBX to the rear wheels, Aston Martin managed to give the silhouette speed and elegance. And brand solutions made the look recognizable, but not devoid of personality. Among the features of the crossover are running lights with integrated air ducts, a hood with slits, and two spoilers on the stern. The upper one provides additional downforce, while the lower one — a" duck tail " in the Vantage style — reduces swirls behind the car.

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Built-in front bumper side air intakes solve several problems. First, they reduce aerodynamic drag and lift by pressing air flows to the body, and second, they cool the brakes, while the internal channels are part of the power structure of the chassis.

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The DBX's aerodynamics were improved by purging the crossover layout in the wind tunnel and analyzing the movement of air flows using computational fluid dynamics. The simulation program even included an atypical scenario: a DBX is towing a trailer with a vintage DB6 sample of 1960. In addition, even at the design stage, Aston Martin used sophisticated software to simulate the occurrence of road and turbulent noise.

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The Aston Martin DBS was created as a utilitarian model for the whole family, so they simply could not come up with a comfortable and spacious interior in Aston Martin. Mixed-gender focus groups, a women's Advisory Board created under the brand, and even children were invited to the design center to evaluate the convenience of getting in and out of the car.

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As a result of painstaking work, the DBX has an «arched» center console, inside which you can place a small bag or a 1.5-liter bottle of water, separate armrests in the front row, a huge panoramic roof, compact front seats from the DB11 and an infotainment display integrated into the architecture of the front panel.

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The interior is finished with natural Caithness leather, a felt-like material (80 percent wool, the rest is synthetic fiber), and Alcantara, which was used for the first time in the industry to cover the roof curtain, as well as walnut veneer and a composite material made of linen. Regardless of the configuration and equipment, it takes 200 hours of manual labor to assemble the interior of each car.

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The standard equipment of the Aston Martin DBX includes heated front and rear seats, electric driver and passenger seats in 12 directions, three-zone climate control, background lighting with a choice of 64 colors, a 12.3-inch digital dashboard and a media complex with a 10.25-inch screen, support for connecting smartphones and an 800-watt Aston Martin Premium audio system with 14 speakers.

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For an additional fee, there are heated steering wheel, seat ventilation, contrast stitching and 16-way adjustments, and the customer a choice of colour schemes and interior decorations in the form of embossed or embroidered logos quilted trim and decorative perforations.

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Even before the DBX presentation, Aston showed 11 packages of additional equipment that will allow you to adapt the crossover to the most diverse Hobbies of the owner. For example, the Snow kit includes a bag and roof mount for six pairs of skis, a shoe dryer, and snow chains.

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Along with the Touring package, the buyer will receive a four-piece luggage set, a lockable compartment under the front seat, and a first aid kit.

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For pet owners, there is a portable sink, a partition between the Luggage compartment and the cabin, as well as a special mattress. The volume of the cargo compartment itself is 632 liters.

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Deliveries of the DBX will begin in the second quarter of next year. The first to come off the Assembly line will be 500 unique crossovers in the 1913 Package specification, the build quality of which will be personally checked by the head of Aston Martin, Andy Palmer. These cars will be distinguished by emblems on the wings, door sills and a special plate confirming the limited edition. Each DBX 1913 Package buyer will also receive a book about the development of the model.

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The Aston Martin DBS will cost €193,500 in Germany.

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