Aston Martin's first SUV enters production, but will it save the company?
St Athan, Wales - Aston Martin's first SUV rolled off the production line on Thursday, and a lot is riding on this high rider. The newcomer is key to the company's hopes of a turnaround amid recent changes in management and ownership, as well as a torrid financial performance.
The British sports car specialist has had a difficult time since it floated in 2018 as sales disappointed and it burnt through cash, prompting it to seek fresh investment from billionaire Lawrence Stroll.
Since then it has announced job cuts, is replacing its boss and has picked a new finance chief among a series of changes as it also responds to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The DBX has become the car that will drive Aston Martin into a bold new era," says Aston's Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman.
The DBX is crafted around a new dedicated SUV platform and its body is made from bonded aluminium to minimise weight, although the finished product is still a little portly at 2245kg.
Air suspension, AMG power
Power comes from an AMG-sourced 4-litre twin-turbo petrol engine, credited with 405kW and 700Nm, which should be enough to get occupants from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
It’s all put to the road through a nine-speed torque converter automatic gearbox and an all-wheel-drive system with an active central differential and rear-mounted electronic limited slip diff. Adaptive triple volume air suspension with adaptive dampers and a 48v electric anti-roll control system aim to ensure that the DBX has the necessary adaptability to offer both a plush ride and agile handling.
The handcrafted interior features a modern range of exquisite wood and metal veneers as well as Bridge of Weir leather upholstery and Alcantara headlining. A 64-colour ambient lighting system adds a contemporary touch.
Deliveries of the new model are set to start later this month.
Work at the firm's new St Athan factory in Wales, where the model is being built, had to stop in March as lockdown saw the economy grind to a halt.
Output restarted in May with safety measures in place but the firm has yet to set a restart date for its English factory in Gaydon, where sports cars are built.
IOL & Reuters