➤ Aston Martin has confirmed that its upcoming DBX SUV will deploy a Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-litre V8 engine that produces 542bhp.
The new model will start full production at Aston Martin’s new Welsh factory in the first half of 2020, with the first reveal expected in December 2019, with pre-orders opening shortly afterwards.
The same bi-turbo V8 engine is also used in the Aston Martin Vantage and the V8 version of the DB11, plus the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, but it’s been fine tuned for the DBX to produce more power than either of the other Aston Martins.
No performance figures have been revealed yet, but Aston Martin has hinted at a top speed of over 180mph and a sub-eight minute lap time at the Nürburgring. To be the fastest SUV around the German circuit, it’d need to beat the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S’ time of 7:49.
This latest DBX prototype in the pictures still wears the red and black camouflage seen on previous test cars. It does, however, appear to be closer to production-ready, and features a new headlight design, streamlined rear lights and near-production-ready front and rear bumpers.
A hybrid DBX is also planned, following the announcement that the firm will electrify its entire range by 2025 with either hybrid or pure-electric variants of every model.
The DBX will sit on a bespoke platform and suspension setup. All of the prototype mules have been subjected to harsh testing on the roads and rough terrain of Wales, to meet the demands of SUV buyers and sports car drivers alike.
When it arrives, the DBX will be a direct rival to the growing army of omnipotent luxury SUVs including the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S and Lamborghini Urus.
Andy Haslam, Aston’s vehicle line director for large cars, described the DBX as ‘clearly a full-size SUV, that will have a lightweight, bonded aluminium body structure.’ The production DBX therefore abandons the sleek three-door coupe shape of the 2015 concept, but looks to retain some of the handsome details that were admired on the show car.
The Aston Martin DBX will be the first car to be built at the company's new production facility, which is now producing prototype models on the site of a former RAF airbase at St Athan, Wales. Around 200 jobs have already been created at the plant with another 550 likely as the model enters production.
The DBX is the first of five new cars planned to join the range in as many years.