Imagine a car with a dog asleep in the boot, a mountain bike fixed on the roof, a couple of child seats installed, some skis and lots of bags in the cabin, with snow chains… Welcome to the new and rather different world of Aston Martin.
It’s (almost) SUV family and adventure time for the brand better known for the suavest of GTs. The firm’s first SUV, the DBX, is now just weeks away from its unveiling, and following in the footsteps of the Cayenne from Porsche, Bentayga from Bentley and Urus from Lamborghini, all expectations are that it will double sales and guarantee the company’s future. That’s what SUVs do…
It’s an important car for Aston then and in its quest to find the X factor it’s warming us up with a slew of tasty tidbits prior to the unveiling, including a peek at the extras owners will be offered. There will be no fewer than 11 different options packs – including one for pets with a dog guard, portable washer and bumper protector.
Other DBX extras to tempt you include the Event pack (event seating, hamper, picnic blanket and umbrella storage), the Adventure pack (roof bars and mud flaps), the Snow pack (ski rack, snow chains and – surely a first? – a heated boot) plus others that cater for everything from school run to shooting party.
You’ll also be able to get posh Aston Martin saddlebags for the cabin and bespoke luggage for the DBX’s 632-litre boot. Incidentally at 632 litres, the DBX’s boot might make that of some other premium SUVs look a bit tight… the Bentayga’s boot is 430 litres.
“From the outset it was envisaged that DBX would become an integral part of customers’ everyday lives,” said Aston Martin chief Andy Palmer.
As well as the utility, Aston is promising plenty of sport, saying the DBX’s performance will match that of its sports cars with a top speed past 180mph. The DBX’s engine, it has now been confirmed, will be a 40bhp more powerful version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 from the DB11 and Vantage. The Mercedes supplied V8 produces 550PS (542bhp) with 516 lb ft of torque. The DBX will corner as fast as a Vantage and outbrake a DBS Superleggera, says Aston. During testing at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, the DBX regularly records sub 8-minute lap times.
To take SUV honours at the ‘Ring it would have to beat the 7 minutes 49.37 seconds recently set by Mercedes-AMG with its GLC63 S. The AMG is powered by essentially the same engine as the DBX but has less power. Lamborghini has yet to be tempted to publish a ‘Ring time for its Urus.
If Aston does go for a record we just hope it doesn’t try with a dog in the back and a bike on the roof...