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DBX: Aston Martin's first SUV is here

Published: 14 November 2018

► The first-ever Aston Martin SUV
► Testing has already begun, full reveal Q4 2019
► To be built in the company's new St Athan factory

This is the Aston Martin DBX, the brand’s first SUV, and another step towards its transformation as a stable, profitable, luxury brand. Aston Martin’s new SUV follows a redesign of the V8 Vantage, and new models such as the DBS Superleggera – and it'll be built in the brand’s new St Athan Lagonda plant, where the company will eventually make EVs, too.

Aston Martin has issued these testing shots of the new DBX crossover wearing disguise/marketing wrap (complete with sponsors!). It says its new SUV will be revealed to the public in full in the last quarter of 2019, so expect a long build-up to the full world debut.

Read more about the new Aston Martin factory in Wales

‘DBX is so much more than "just" an SUV; it will be the first model built at our brand-new facility in St Athan,’ said company CEO Andy Palmer. ‘As such, it is very much the start of a bold new era in the company’s long history.’

Aston Martin DBX: what’s it look like?

Although the new pictures show a heavily camo’d version of the new SUV, you can still tell it’s an Aston Martin, with that gaping signature grille and lights which appear to be directly lifted off the V8 Vantage.

That’s all subject to change of course, and we expect the rear is far from final too – unless Aston Martin’s design team has moved towards small, circular lights nabbed from a Routemaster bus, that is.

Nevertheless, the broad strokes of the new car are clear to see, and it looks a little more compact than its inevitable Urus and Cayenne-shaped competition. The DBX does have four doors though, so practicality is still an important factor for Gaydon.

DBX: how’s testing going?

After an early simulation phase, Aston Martin’s chief engineer Matt Becker has begun the DBX real-world testing programme, and the prototypes of the new SUV are going through their paces on a Welsh rally stage near the new factory.

‘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. Still, 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,’ said Becker.

This is a man who knows a thing or two about how to make an aluminium sports car handle, remember; he was largely responsible for the handling finesse of modern Lotuses before he was snapped up by the new boss Palmer's recruitment drive.

DBX: a new breed of Aston

‘As an engineer, it’s genuinely exciting to get a feel for the car you’re working to create,' added Becker. 'The 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 prototype will soon find itself subjected to the usual weather extremes around the world: think Middle Eastern deserts, frozen roads and high-speed autobahns.

And because the DBX is unlike any other car Aston has made, the company has had to invent some new off-road tests, too.

We'll update this page as we learn more about the new DBX SUV

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast