► The first-ever Aston Martin SUV
► DBX goes winter testing, full reveal Q4 2019
► To be built in new St Athan, Wales factory
The Aston Martin DBX has been spotted testing at Nurburgring – along with seemingly every other car on the road at the moment, regardless of segment. Anyway, in addition to pictures of the new SUV in action, our man with the long lens has also managed to snap some images of the new car’s interior.
The DBX is a while away from production, so the cabin is by no means finished, but we can make out the rough design strokes of the new crossover’s interior. So far, it looks to be a mish-mash of previous-gen Mercedes A-class switchgear and infotainment combined with some weird-looking vents – so just like the new Vantage, then.
Pictures from the cabin also show haphazard controls, a laptop, and a makeshift button for a horn. While we’re well aware this isn’t a finished interior by any means, it’s still fascinating to see the processes billion-pound projects like these must go through.
Aston Martin DBX: everything you need to know
This is the new Aston Martin DBX, the brand’s first SUV, and another step towards its transformation as a stable, profitable, luxury brand. The company has issued this new video above of the sporty crossover winter-testing in Sweden, as they hone its chassis and systems to work at -30C. The film and pictures were taken at Pirelli’s R&D Sottozero Centre at the Flurheden Proving Ground.
Aston Martin chief engineer Matt Becker said: ‘The Aston Martin DBX needs to be ready for a wide range of multi-terrain surfaces, so in addition to testing the car in normal day-to-day situations, we need to test it in extreme conditions such as these. Testing these prototypes in cold climate conditions helps us to assess the car’s early dynamics and crucially ensure confidence inspiring sure-footedness on low grip surfaces.’
It's a busy time at Aston Martin - witness the three cars it showed at the Geneva motor show in March 2019 – so it's no surprise the company is expanding its manufacturing footprint in the UK. The DBX will be built in the brand’s new St Athan Lagonda plant in Wales, where the company will eventually make EVs, too.
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 does 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.
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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