Aston Martin has been having a rough ride of late, sales and earnings missing their targets and the British carmaker’s stock taking a nose-drive, so, the debut of the new DBX, Aston’s first-ever SUV, marks a critical step,
- The DBX become the first SUV in Aston Martin’s more than 100-year history.
- This will be more than a “soft-roader,” Aston claiming it combines sports car manners, on-road, with serious off-road capabilities.
- Electrified drivetrain options are in the works, according to Aston sources.
How important is the new DBX? Creative Director Merek Reichman describes it as “the most important car in our recent history.”
DBX is designed to blend the best attributes of a classic Aston Martin sports car with a serious off-roading utility vehicle, following the path taken by several other high-line brands, including Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Ferrari. In its initial incarnation, the DBX will be powered by a new version of Aston’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8. But Aston may have a few surprises in store for those looking for greener options, including a plug-in hybrid and even an all-electric model at some point in the not-too-distant future.
For now the DBX is just another ultra-plush SUV, but Aston Martin is likely to electrify it in the near future. (Photo: Aston Martin)
What’s a Lagonda?
Adding electric capabilities to the DBX is something the British automaker had in mind from the very beginning, CEO Andy Palmer told Ride during a background briefing over the summer. That makes sense considering the underlying platform for the DBX will be shared with another SUV Aston is getting ready to unleash. It will, in fact, be the first new offering for the revived Lagonda brand.
The long moribund Lagonda will be an all-electric marque, Palmer explained, with a Lagonda SUV due to market in 2022 and a battery-powered sedan following a year later.
Aston’s interest in electrification should come as no surprise considering its CEO was a major proponent of battery technology in his previous life, as head of product development at Nissan where he helped spearhead the launch of the Leaf. He sees the technology as even more compelling for a high-line brand such as Aston Martin.
“You can get supercar performance out of an electric motor because you have such incredible amounts of torque. Outright performance is a great thing to have,” Palmer explained.
The DBX interior is as plush as you would expect in an Aston Martin. (Photo: Aston Martin)
Electrifying the DBX
While Aston has yet to offer details about its electrification plans, Palmer did confirm that range would push up towards the 300-miles mark. To address concerns about charging times, Aston will use an 800-volt electrical architecture – similar to what Porsche is using with the new Taycan – that can cut down to as little as 15 minutes the time needed for an 80% recharge.
For now, the DBX does use a micro-hybrid 48-volt electronic system, though primarily for its active anti-roll system that enhances handling. Deliveries of the 2021 Aston Martin DBX will begin during the second half of 2020, with prices starting at $189,900.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Aston is the latest in a growing list of ultra-premium automakers entering the SUV market, and it expects the new DBX to become its best-selling model, more than doubling the brand’s sales over the next few years. But with the revival of the Lagonda nameplate, Aston is also making a commitment to electrification, seen as a necessity for luxury brands going forward.