The idea of a GT and sports car stalwart like Aston Martin creating an SUV did, at one point, raise a few eyebrows. But the doubters have been silenced, the critics have been convinced and Aston Martin’s bravery has most definitely paid off. So impressive is the DBX that the world’s oldest car magazine, Autocar, recently awarded its chief engineer, Matt Becker, the Mundy Award for Engineering.
Autocar said the DBX is a vehicle that has the best ride and handling blend in the class, and in Becker Aston Martin has one of the world’s most eminent vehicle engineers. His challenge was to create a car that delivered trademark Aston Martin handling and performance in an SUV package. Unwilling to compromise in any respect, an entirely new platform was developed for the DBX to allow it to deliver a sports car experience in a practical high-riding body.
“We needed to understand these products and measure them to death to get the characteristics we wanted.” Pick a rival SUV and, by and large, you’ll find it comes from a member of a big manufacturer group, with both the opportunities of scale and the drawbacks of having to fit into a niche that such an association entails. “We could say: ‘X car feels like that because of this number or that number,’” Becker explains. “But basically, we generated what we wanted DBX to be because we’ve got the freedom; it gave us the chance to make something we wanted in terms of package for the car but also in terms of dynamics for the car. We were like ‘Yeah, these guys have done this’ because that’s the bandwidth they’ve got to work in. We didn’t have to do that.”
The DBX is Aston Martin’s first four-wheel-drive car, fitted with wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, unique Bilstein dampers and three-chamber air suspension. Active anti-roll bars fitted to the DBX mean body roll is just as limited as it would be on a low-slung sports car.
Powered by a 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine, the DBX can accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 181mph. The four-wheel-drive system can send 100 per cent of power to the rear wheels, or as much as 47 per cent to the front, delivering versatile performance in all conditions.