It was only a matter of time before Aston Martin followed Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini and Porsche with a super SUV of its own. The DBX is arguably the most beautiful of the lot and comes fitted with a more powerful 542bhp version of the Vantage’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo AMG-sourced V8. It’s also the first car to be built in Aston’s shiny new factory on a former RAF base in St Athan, Wales. With the company’s well publicised financial challenges, failure here isn’t really an option. Series 27: Aston Martin: Chris Harris Drives: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.
ah there is it was only a matter of time wasn’t it before Aston Martin followed suit with the Bentley been tiger the Lamborghini Eurus and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo with the super SUV of its own and here it is the Aston Martin DBS if you follow the financial news you know Aston stock value has been falling since its IPO a year ago so the dbx isn’t just another new Aston it’s a potential lifeline for the company which is why it’s pulled out all the stops it’s based on a new platform offered initially with a more powerful version of the Vantage’s 4 litre twin-turbo AMG sourced v8 and the first car to be built in Astin’s brand new factory in sin effin Wales failure here isn’t really an option Wellcome to all the technical details in a minute but first let’s catch up with Myles Nurnberger Ashton’s director of design to run a fine comb through the styling miles thanks for joining us and this slightly bond-esque location we’ve got up here isn’t it it’s great place very very nice it’s not like any studio I’ve ever been to anyway the dbx how important is this car Aston Martin is it too much to say this is the car that the company’s future rests on its shoulders in terms of growth absolutely is a very important car it’s car for in our second century plan so first of all DB 11 advantages in DBS and of course it’s significant because actually it’s the first time we go into this sector again it’s not the first time obviously that Aston has flirted with the idea of an SUV there was a 2009 lagonda concert famously didn’t go down very well with him with the media and the public there any lessons learned from that concept that you’ve been able to apply here well I think it was very different it was done for lagonda it was done at a different time when we’ve come at this one it’s been with a clean sheet of paper I think we started from the ground up which we were fairly young in those days we’ve grown up a lot and understood our brand a lot more where to take it so but may I be so bold as to say off the bat it’s a beautiful thing recognizably an Aston Martin I know that was bad to lagonda this is nasty but just talk a bit about the challenge of turning the Aston Martin design language you’ve worked so hard to sort of some men into something that doesn’t actually sit next to a front-engine GT I think I think we were convinced for a while that you could interpret a sin DNA into it we knew in actual fact that probably we needed the practicality you know if you if you go into the SUV market today there is just I mean I’ve I show you the side of the car I don’t have to explain what you get you know and that’s really important for the customer what they get on top of it though is they get beautiful proportion and starts and all those things which is a nice little segue isn’t it because we’re here to talk about this car so without further ado why don’t we just go through it you talk through the design will start the front we’ll work our way to the back imagine I know nothing I have a set of eyes I mean grille is the place to start yes demand grille so very much recognizable this car is a dbx and it was the classic DB grille that you should instantly recognize from you know iconic db5 bigger than much bigger actually probably the largest grille we’ve ever put on a DB if if anything properly and I think it’s about the size of a 177 grille we’ve got the DRL lamps either side and again arrow we started all of this at a adventure with arrow Aston Martin with DB 11 and it comes through all the cars so actually within the lamp is actually a duck so you get an air an air blade basically running around there you know we’re able to get this sculpture and almost this you know horizontal surface off the wheel arts instead of coming out like a wall we can cut across the car and get all that sculpt this one thing I actually notice because a lot of these sort of supersu visas we’re nicknamed them have these really quite bulky front end so when you put the dimensions with these kind of boxy shapes around the front and rear then it can get a bit heavy with fieldsports cars with actually more metal above their wheels than then our SUV does which is quite amazing you were talking about this this being compact so not as much method as some sports cars about there but there was quite a bit of ride height here so you haven’t you could have I know that this has got air suspension on it yeah you can go up and down it’s quite interesting you get a you know lower you get there’s a certain sporty nurse how you get off Sears or Freight but there’s a moment in between we get as beautiful elegant float and we actually it partly goes with this line here that we have that runs front to back which we call the powerboat line a constantly falling line and along with the you know the clearance to the ground gives this very elegant of course Aston Martin actually does make about these data seamless and just back to the wheel arch again I noticed these are 22 so I’d say 22 is standard standard there’s two wheel styles so this is the standard and then there’s an option silence the other thing I was noticing was the glass so my eyes deceiving me I was this old flush and seamless whereas normally you’ve got sort reading pillars yeah so we went to a lot of effort so we have glass the glass all the way through so this this the B post is actually a pane of glass also I mean it’s it’s about reducing clutter and putting the emphasis on the right thing so obviously what the emphases on this nice piece of aluminium brightwork I see the bottom of all the seals are actually hidden underneath the edge of it or so you go straight from metal to glass without a big finish okay if we follow this C pillar round you’ve got the roof spoiler up there it appears all to be leading to this ducktail spoiler more than the hint of Vantage about that absolutely I mean it’s an SUV but it’s an SUV with a very big capital S for sports and our sports car the car we raise his Vantage and very unashamedly we’ve taken that and put it onto the back of the car to give that very unique identity to go in profile and in rear view the duck tail when you’re on Iran advantage it’s got a nice clean airflow on an SUV normally it doesn’t which is why we have these two holes either side to actually feed energize the flow to the to the duck tail but that also keeps the rear screen perfectly clear you get a lot of circulation on the back of SUVs and because of the hard cutoff here and the air flow down there it keeps the really bad type of real work nope and I like these carbon fiber finishes yes yeah so these are an option and this sort of perforated things something else you see in the Vantage as well so alright let’s have a look at the interior you go and you hop in the passenger seat I’m driving okay yeah alright now I read somewhere that it took you six months to decide the exact position of the driver’s seat what on earth – longer than that we did a huge amount of testing basically because we were going to sector and you know you’ve got to have the practicalities you’ve got to be able to get in and out but also in a minute you get in it and sit in it it has to feel like an Aston Martin we were insistent to go that right we couldn’t get to the end and go quietly so you are closeted I feel cause Sid but you’ve got space across the dashboard you feel like you’ve got that you’ve got all this nice storage below you I was gonna say so this floating center console that’s pretty much of a Dogma here right so you get the you get the raised center console you feel these you get this kind of cockpit feel but then you’ve got all this space under here yeah these are quite sporty seats as well are they DB 11 related they are very much deeper than related and again that’s where our sports car learning came in we’ve got a seat we’ve already designed that’s good GT sporting long distance C so why not use it again why not use it in an SUV great and there’s some amazing materials in here it smells amazing I’ve just said before we turn the camera on that I love this coloured what’s that a heart attack just so I know when I wouldn’t it’s a horror tan but also Alcantara headlining yeah Alcantara for the for the whole line I mean that was again what I push to get like an leather speakers you know solo the perforation so in fact we’re getting a bit like on the outside where we reducing detail but actually adding some graft into it so we’re actually using leather for the speaker grille patterns to get this more seamless approach throughout the car reduce the number of straight lines and create a beautiful bit of graft and of course we’ve got our driving modes down here so you get sports ball plus GT yeah but hill descent control because an SUV right and a couple of modes I was reading about terrain and terrain Plus who in their right mind is going to take their Aston Martin on 22-inch wheels off-road you gotta be a madman right well there will be some there will be some but I think you know with all the SUVs it’s that ability what you’re after is the ability to escape to go where you want to and have that freedom right so that’s the design but the way this thing drives is just as crucial to do justice to that Aston badge how then have Aston set this car up to cope with 542 brake horsepower and 516 pounds feet of rampant of the eight capable of not 62 and 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 181 miles an hour the first thing is an all-new bonded aluminium platform which is the same technique that Aston uses on its sports cars the advantages of that are it’s very stiff and quite light this car weighs 2245 kilograms which is about 45 kilograms more than a Lamborghini but up to 150 kilograms less than a Bentley van tiger with a v8 engine the other thing to mention is that although Aston won’t confirm that an all-electric dbx is coming this platform can be fitted with batteries and motors somewhere down the line the brakes are steel not carbon ceramic and there’s air suspension as standard which can raise the car 45 millimetres in terrain and terrain plus modes will lower it by 50 millimetres in sport and sport plus 30 millimetres at motorway speeds and up to 50 millimetres lower in access mode to help you get in and out and for loading the boot and just like the vent a grand us there’s adaptive dampers and a 48 volt anti-roll system you should keep this car unnaturally flat in corners all that power is sent to the wheels of our and 9 speed automatic gearbox and a full wheel drive system that sends about 53% of the talk to the rear axle in normal running but can send almost a hundred percent of the power to the rear axle when required if you’ve seen a video of a prototype of this car tearing up a Welsh rally stage you’ll know it’s not shy of going sideways and the switchboard exhaust on exactly mute now because the dvx is a car where uber luxury supposedly meets active lifestyles there’s a couple of cool features I wanted to show you if you’re prepared to sacrifice your spare wheel then under the boot floor here you can have a fully waterproof wet bag that’s where you throw your wellies and your wet suits and your waders and then you simply close the boot and you’re back to leather lined luxury you leave the dirt and the damp behind you and the other ones around here when you’re getting in the back door even if the rest of the car is caked in grime and mud this sill section here will be nice and clean and dry so you don’t get dirt on your Italian chinos Astin knows not many of its customers will want to Fang their dbx around on a rally stage a much more lucrative strategy is to sell this car on its lifestyle benefits hence 11 optional accessory packs these include a snow pack with a ski bag roof-mounted ski rack and snow chains a Touring pack with a full-piece luggage set and saddle bags for the rear armrest a pet pack with a bumper protector dog partition and portable washer for muddy paws and even an aluminium gun cabinet or picnic hamper prices for the dbx start from around 155 grams actually isn’t that shocking when you consider the 265 brand rolls-royce Cullinan exists and the spec sheet on this car is pretty hard to fault actually from the huge performance to the physics-defying chassis aids my concern is that unlike a few years ago the competition for the dbx is now numerous and really quite strong is the super SUV market already oversaturated for Aston sake I hope not you