Aston Martin has confirmed that its upcoming luxury SUV will be called the DBX. The Gaydon carmaker has also released a bunch of photos and a video of a prototype of its first SUV being tested along the Welsh countryside. The choice of location is a nod to Aston Martins’ new St Athan production facility in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, where the DBX will be produced.
“Seeing a DBX development prototype in action is a momentous chapter in the story of our first SUV, for it is the moment it really comes alive,” says Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive Officer. “DBX is so much more than ‘just’ an SUV; it will be the first model built at our brand-new facility in St Athan. As such, it is very much the start of a bold new era in the company’s long history.”
This prototype drive is the start of ‘real world’ testing, in which the SUV will be subjected to a punishing regime that will ultimately see development prototypes tackle some of the world’s harshest environments, from the frozen Arctic and scorching deserts of the Middle East to high Alpine passes and the German autobahnen, before finally taking on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Speaking of his drive in the DBX development prototype, Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Matt Becker, said: “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. As an engineer, it’s genuinely exciting to get a feel for the car you’re working to create. 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.”
While the prototype is heavily camouflaged, its overall shape and dimensions are apparent. It looks more subdued than the crossover coupe concept that Aston showed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and the two-door layout of the concept has been replaced by a conventional four-door SUV design.