Prepare to be stunned and perhaps aroused! This all-new Aston Martin DBX takes a second swing at an SUV from the Gaydon HQ of James Bond.
But is Bond running the show at AML? Not at all. The new lead is Andy Palmer, poached from Nissan a few months ago and bringing his smart and hyper-productive product plans to the Aston range. At Geneva, Aston rolled out the Vantage GT3, the new Vulcan hypercar, a production announcement for the Rapide Taraf (now selling up to 200 copies worldwide), and this interesting DBX SUV.
A high-riding GT car with two doors and proportions much like the Vantage and DB9, the new DBX is an all-new exterior look for the brand in addition to being tall and likely running AWD.
This new design ethos seen on the DBX is actually a stark change versus the new Vulcan. Ultra rounded and flowing surfaces nicely recall the forms of the original DB5 and DB6 in a way that modern Aston’s have not. Being more bulging and soft in its corners and shaping is possible in the SUV segment, where the DBX would compete with the new Bentley Bentayga, just-announced Rolls-Royce Alpine and upcoming Lamborghini Urus crossover.
But what about the Range Rover – the long-reigning king of the lux SUV class?
By sticking to two doors and two seats, the DBX instantly asserts itself as the sportiest and most exotic in the crossover supercar segment. So while it might look like a DB9 ‘Outback’ with its jacked-up suspension clearance — there is actually solid strategy and a marketing rationale for this sweet new Palmer-led creation.
Aston Martin DBX Concept challenges convention
3 March 2015, Gaydon: Aston Martin today challenges the nature of luxury GT travel in the 21st Century with the debut at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show of the innovative DBX Concept.
Created to defy conventional thinking about the luxury GT segment, the DBX Concept widens the appeal of the iconic British luxury brand and reaches out to a more diverse global audience than ever before.
Unveiling the concept, Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said: “The DBX Concept is a challenge to the existing status quo in the high luxury GT segment. It envisages a world, perhaps a world not too far away, when luxury GT travel is not only stylish and luxurious but also more practical, more family-friendly and more environmentally responsible.
“I asked my team at Aston Martin to expand their thinking beyond conventions, to explore what the future of luxury GT motoring would look like in years ahead, and the DBX Concept you see before you is the result.”
Dr Palmer added: “This is, clearly, not a production-ready sports GT car, but it is a piece of fresh, bold thinking about what Aston Martin GT customers around the world could request of us in the future.
“The DBX Concept is more than a thought starter for us and for our customers, though. We will, in due course, be entering a car into the new DBX space and I am very much looking forward to seeing how this concept is received not only here today, but also by our legion of existing loyal customers and by those potential customers around the world who have, to this point, yet to consider one of our cars.”
Imagined by Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and his team at the brand’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, the all-electric DBX Concept showcases not only cutting edge engineering but also a major evolution of the British brand’s world-renowned and highly-regarded design language.
Clearly signalling an extension to the brand’s existing model lines in the future, the all-wheel drive DBX Concept seamlessly combines traditional Aston Martin beauty with elegant new engineering that gracefully aligns form and function.
Capable of accommodating four adults in comfort, the DBX Concept also majors on day-to-day practicality. It offers generous luggage capacity by virtue of the fact that its rear trunk and forward load bay can both accept passengers’ belongings.
Opulence and cutting edge style go hand-in-hand in the DBX Concept thanks to a unique fusion of high luxury and advanced technology. These characteristics, allied to the ingenious use of unconventional materials and finishes inside and out, are calculated to further broaden the appeal of Aston Martin.
The concept’s exterior bright work emphasises the brand’s approach to the use of authentic materials, and is made up of machined billet aluminium with visible milling lines in a piece of exquisite craftsmanship intended to be seen as the car’s jewellery. The DBX Concept’s unique paint finish – Black Pearl Chromium – has been specially created to mimic the look of a genuine black pearl, and comprises a micro-fine layer of chrome to deliver a level of reflectivity that cannot be obtained through normal paint finishes.
Inside, the deliberate use of non-automotive standard materials generates a uniquely soft, cocooning ambience. The extensive application of velvet-like Nubuck leather contrasts with the concept’s hard, hi-tech equipment. The exposed leather reveals a sandwiched accent layer, more akin to high-end furniture, while the car’s interior bright ware matches that of the exterior with the addition of a gold ‘pin striping’ element on the edging.
Marek Reichman explained: “The exceptional craftsmanship, with detailing more typically seen on luxury consumer goods or fine jewellery, gives the DBX Concept genuinely global appeal.”
Embracing the very latest engineering techniques and theories, the DBX Concept needs no engine compartment thanks to its use of electric, inboard-of-wheel, motors powered by lithium sulphur cells.
Drive-by-wire electric steering, toughened glass with an auto-dimming ‘smart glass’ inter-layer, and bespoke driver and passenger head-up displays are further examples of its cutting edge technology.
Active LED exterior lights, carbon ceramic brakes with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and rear view cameras in place of conventional mirrors also underline the mould-breaking nature of this luxury GT concept.
Dr Palmer explained: “A concept car such as this should, in my view, challenge conventional thinking and explore the art of the possible. In the DBX Concept, I believe we have created a new type of luxury car that can not only broaden the appeal of Aston Martin to a whole new generation of customers, but sit with pride alongside the rest of our range.”
What do you think?