The Aston Martin DBX has been created to be elegant, purposeful and unique in its uncompromising beauty. Photo courtesy: Jaime Navarro
The work of Aston Martin’s award-winning in-house design team - led by Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman - DBX manages to bring a level of sculpture and sleekness to a sector perhaps not normally known for elegance. The fastback look of DBX cleverly positions the visual mass of the car over the rear wheels, just as you see in Aston Martin’s sports cars, but it does so without compromising ingress and egress.
Meanwhile the long wheelbase not only provides excellent interior packaging, but also allows a lower, sleeker roofline, giving elegance to the overall shape. Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman said, “DBX is an SUV that does not compromise beauty or performance for practicality or usability. It has been designed to deliver on the proportions that meet the criteria for beauty that we would always apply to the form language of any Aston Martin.
It has been created to be elegant, purposeful and unique in its uncompromising beauty. The considered ergonomics guarantee a cabin that is both easy to access and cosseting to be in. We have worked hard to deliver a sense of safety and protection, allowing you to indulge in DBX’s driving experience in comfort. DBX truly redefines the SUV segment”. The design of DBX of course begins with the signature Aston Martin grille that recalls a litany of classically beautiful cars from the brand’s history.
The bonnet blades can be specified in a range of colours and materials including satin chrome and carbon fibre. Either side of the grille is a striking new feature in the form of the daytime running lights (DRLs). These not only double as indicators but encircle an aerodynamic duct. Above the DRLs sit Bi-LED headlights that complete a confident new interpretation of a familiar face. The bonnet has two strikingly bold vents that serve dual functions. They both relieve air pressure from under the bonnet, thus reducing front end lift, and help to cool the turbocharged engine.
Vents are situated on the side of DBX, helping to minimise drag down the side of the car. The sculptured nature of the bodywork on the side of DBX contrasts with the flat, slab-like forms often seen on SUVs, accentuating its remarkably sleek look. The smooth and sophisticated look to DBX continues with the glazing on the sides of the car. The first part of the equation are the frameless doors that combine with hidden seals to reduce clutter and provide a beautiful glass-to-metal junction while maximising visibility and light inside the cabin.
The B-pillar is fashioned from glass giving the appearance of one piece of glazing in an uninterrupted sweep down the side of the car. At the bottom of the doors, cutaway sills also reduce the stepover required for owners to enter or exit the car, while reducing the risk of ruining clothing on a dirty exterior. At the back of DBX, the powerful rear haunches incorporate signature rear lights, while the upswept flip at the base of the rear screen clearly takes inspiration from Aston Martin’s most focused sportscar, Vantage. Extending the roofline and sitting at the top of the powered tailgate is a spoiler that helps to direct air down the rear screen as well as creating localised downforce. Twin exhausts complete the exhilarating look at the back of the car.
Open the electrically powered tailgate and a large 632-litre boot is revealed delivering exceptional practicality. The rear seats split 40:20:40 to allow flexible extra load space and there is a potential for an additional 62-litres of stowage hidden underneath the boot floor. Close attention has been paid to the ease of loading items into the boot and as a result there is a wide load space aperture with a very shallow sill. The inside of the boot also features very linear sides to assist with the car’s packing capability.
The air suspension can be lowered from inside the boot to further aid loading, or lower the towball to attach a trailer. Two designs of alloy wheels will be available from launch. Both measure 22” in diameter, adding to DBX’s authoritative demeanor. The Sport wheel is of a beautiful V-spoke design, while there is also an optional ‘Ribbon’ alloy wheel with fluid, interlaced spokes. This optional wheel design took inspiration from the interlocking antlers of stags in battle and cleverly uses precise diamond turning to give the appearance of interwoven strands of contrasting colour metal.
DBX purposely has an assertive ride height in its standard setting, with appreciable space between the top of the tyre and the wheel arch. This intentional injection of space imbues the whole car with a readiness and an uplifting demeanor that reflects the lightness in the way it drives whether on or off road. Marek Reichman said: ‘We’ve successfully managed to achieve a package with the proportions and mechanical layout that allow sports car styling to be applied to a versatile, five-seat vehicle in a beautiful way.’ And what of the interior? Well, there has never been an Aston Martin that has had so much research into its design, particularly with regard to its ergonomics and interior space. DBX has been designed from the inside out to ensure that the cabin is spacious and comfortable with occupants able to get in and out easily This began with the decision to use a bespoke body and the resultant ability to tailor the vehicle size and proportions to suit the specific needs of DBX. The length between the wheels allowed the design team to optimise cabin space while maintaining DBX’s sleek, low roofline. Over six months were spent solely defining the position of the driver within the vehicle, with enough movement in the driver’s seat to allow clear visibility across the front bonnet from the 99th percentile male to the 5 th percentile female – a tall order, but achievable through the model’s versatile packaging. The target was to blend the authoritative, confident sensibility that is expected in the driving position of an SUV, with some of the focused, low-slung sports car feelings that are associated with being in an Aston Martin.
This same philosophy of being inspired by, but not merely imitating Aston Martin’s sports cars, can be found in other areas of DBX’s interior. The steering wheel, for example, is a new design, with new switchgear. The large paddles that can be used to operate the 9-speed automatic gearbox are beautifully tactile and unlike those usually found in an SUV. The seats have been based on those found in the DB11, but have been equipped with separate armrests from driver to passenger to allow for fully personalised seating positions in the front.
Fundamentally, the same qualities of long distance comfort with sportscar levels of support are required in DBX. However, the slim, svelte nature of a sports car seat’s framework also has benefits for an SUV in terms of maximising interior space, particularly for those sitting behind.
Wherever you sit in the vehicle there is also a sense of space and lightness with a fantastic view of the world you’re passing through. Reflecting the world outside are the plethora of natural material options available inside DBX.