I got a my first glimpse of the Aston Martin DBX in October during a special preview before it was officially revealed in November at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. My first impression was of stunning beauty and amazing attention to detail.
Today, eight months later, the first production vehicle rolls off the line — but not in Gaydon where Aston Martin is headquartered, but in Wales.
So, this marks a couple of turning points for the low-volume luxury automaker as it produces its first SUV in its brand-new manufacturing facility in St. Athan, Wales. The sports cars will still be produced in Gaydon.
An interesting note about the St. Athan facility is that it used to belong to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense and has a bit of history behind it. It officially opened in 1938 as the home of the Royal Air Force No. 4 School of Technical Training. It was the base home to 14,000 personal during World War II, and it served as the maintenance base for aircraft including the Vulcan, Phantom, Harrier, Tornado and Hawk.
But back to the DBX itself.
While a lot of sports car enthusiasts poo-poo the idea of an automaker like Aston Martin producing an SUV, others have learned a lot of lessons from Porsche and its Cayenne. Thus, it seems Aston Martin is pinning a lot of hopes on this foray into a new segment.
But don’t let the SUV stance fool you — there is more “sport” in this utility vehicle than you might think. In fact, DBX will share the same 4.0-liter V-8 engine we see in the DB11 and Vantage. It will deliver 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The 0-to-60-mph time can be achieved in 4.3 seconds and top speed will be 181 mph.
It also has standard all-wheel drive.
It’s also worth noting that Aston Martin retains a partnership with Mercedes-Benz — both for the engine and the infotainment system. So, the DBX will debut one of the newer iterations of Mercedes infotainment with a 10.25-inch screen on the center stack and Apple CarPlay — making DBX the first Aston Martin to get this phone-mirroring software.
Aston Martin expects about 80% of DBX’s produced to be exported and sold overseas, and the first deliveries will start later this month.
The starting price for DBX will be $189,900, which slots it between the Vantage ($152,995) and the DB11 ($204,320) on the Aston Martin price list.