What it is: The newest sign that the end is nigh? Also, “nigh”? In what other context would one use that word? What were we saying? Oh, right, DBX. Well, it’s part of Aston Martin’s plan for long-term survival. And we all know what that means these days: a crossover/SUV-type thingamabob. We saw it first in concept form at the 2015 Geneva motor show.
Why it matters: It matters because the DBX is part of a plan to expand the tiny company’s product portfolio beyond just shapely, ground-hugging coupes, of which Aston sells only about 4000 per year globally.
Platform: Initially, Aston considered using a Mercedes-Benz platform, owing to a tie-up between the companies. Instead, Aston will use a reworked version of its new component set, which first appeared under the new DB11 coupe. Expect it to be largely constructed of aluminum. Aston isn’t crazy enough to produce a new version of the AMC Spirit, so the company has acknowledged that the production DBX will have four doors instead of the concept’s two. And the roofline will be decidedly less coupelike so that human beings will fit in back.
Powertrain: There will be a full-electric version of the DBX eventually, but it won’t arrive for at least a couple of years after the start of production. At launch, a Mercedes V-8 will power the DBX.
Competition: Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Tesla Model X. What might go wrong: Aston pitched a rebodied Benz SUV concept called the Lagonda at the 2009 Geneva show. That bloated, frowning abomination was promptly euthanized. There is no guarantee that the production DBX won’t end up getting hit by the same ugly stick that deformed the Bentayga.
Estimated arrival and price: Aston has already begun work on a production facility in Wales to build the DBX. If all goes according to plan, the DBX should hit the tonier parts of town in early 2020. Price? More than the Model X and nearly as much as the Bentayga. Figure around $225,000.