Another luxury SUV will appear in showrooms before the end of 2019 and it will have an Aston Martin badge on it. The British carmaker has confirmed that it has commenced real world testing of the model which will be called the ‘DBX’.
The first test will be done with the first development prototype being put through its paces along a demanding Welsh Rally stage in the hands of the company’s Chief Engineer, Matt Becker. Though simulation has been an essential part of DBX’s early development phase, this first prototype drive in Wales signifies the start of testing in actual physical conditions.
Prototypes will be subjected to a punishing regime that will ultimately see them driven in some of the world’s harshest environments. From the frozen Arctic and scorching deserts of the Middle East to high mountain passes and the high-speed demands of the German autobahn as well as at Nurburgring, the DBX will be pushed to its limits to see what needs to be improved, strengthened or even redesigned.
The unique nature of DBX in the Aston Martin range means it requires a dedicated test programme, The R&D team has formulated new processes, procedures and standards that reflect its all-purpose role. So, while it will perform with the characteristics of a true Aston Martin, its dynamic envelope has to extend into areas previously off-limits to the marque’s sporting roots. Naturally this includes impressive multi-terrain and towing capabilities as befits a state-of-the-art SUV.
Speaking of his drive in the DBX development prototype, 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,” he added.
Scheduled to be unveiled in the last quarter of 2019, the DBX will be built at Aston Martin Lagonda’s state-of-the-art luxury manufacturing plant that will ultimately become the ‘Home of Electrification’ when the marque’s fully-electric models enter production.
“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. 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” said Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda’s President & Group CEO.