The upcoming Aston Martin DBX is being readied for release. This fresh batch of spy shots shows the SUV undergoing its handling assessment at the Nurburgring, marking our first non-official sighting of the car. Due to reach the UK market by 2020, the DBX will join an ever-growing marketplace of premium performance SUVs, dominated by the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus.
The British firm’s first SUV was previewed by the DBX Concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, but our spy shots confirm that the production model will be very different in appearance to the show car. The Concept was a statement of intent, hence its three-door coupe shape, but the commercially-available version will be a five-door SUV.
Little has changed in since we last saw the DBX, though. This latest mule wears the same camouflage and sports the same body shell as the previous one. It retains the pronounced rear haunches and steeply-raked rear window as the previous test car, both of which nod towards Aston Martin’s grand tourer line-up.
Power could well be provided by Aston Martin’s latest twin-turbocharged ‘hot-vee’ V8 from the Vantage and DB11 V8, as hinted by a previous mule’s DVLA records. A hybrid DBX will inevitably emerge at some stage, too, falling in line with Aston Martin’s plans to electrify its entire line-up, with hybrid or pure-electric variants of every model planned by 2025.
The DBX isn’t just important because of the potential revenue it could generate for Aston Martin, though. It will also be the first car to be built at the firm’s brand new, 60,000 square-metre, £250 million factory in St Athan, Wales.
Speaking to Auto Express at the St Athan facility, Aston vehicle line director for large cars, Andy Haslam told us a little more about the upcoming DBX. He described the model as “clearly a full-size SUV”, that will have a lightweight, bonded aluminium body structure with its own unique suspension system and platform.
Haslam also set out Aston’s plans for the DBX’s testing programme. The current prototype is an early build model, codenamed ‘M1.’ Halfway through this year, a second prototype build will enter production at St Athan, followed by a presentation of the finished car by the end of the year.
We still haven’t seen the DBX’s interior, either. For now, the usual prototype rules apply, with the M1 mule featuring a spartan cabin packed with plenty of parts-bin Mercedes switchgear. When the final car arrives, the dash is likely to take on a different look from other Aston products, given the segment the vehicle will belong to and the platform it will use.
As for a price, the DBX will line up with other upper-crust SUVs such as the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. We anticipate a starting figure of around £140,000 when it goes on sale in 2020.
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