THIS IS THE PERFECT CAR IF JAMES BOND WERE TO EVER MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN.
In the words of the immortal Burt Bacharach “what the world needs now…” may not yet be another SUV, but in the case of Aston Martin, we just might make an exception. Seemingly the last in a line of super luxury brands to come up with their version of the utility vehicle, the British motorcar company has come to play with perhaps the best combination of performance and luxury we’ve had the privilege to experience to date. This is a brand new vehicle, not just something that was quickly and hastily put together to satisfy the ever growing demand of the marketplace. The DBX features a completely re-engineered platform, from the headlights to the tail lights. So much so, that it warranted creating the new St. Athan production facility in the Vale of Glamorgan (that’s in southeast Wales, for the uninitiated).
“The lines are unmistakably Aston Martin; all curves, stealthy and beautiful.”
This is the perfect car if James Bond were to ever marry and have children (you can’t be a double-0 agent forever, can you?). Spacious, luxurious, and comfortable, it is a true SUV, but don’t get it twisted. This is still an Aston Martin, so performance is at the core of what your experience will be. The lines are unmistakably Aston Martin; all curves, stealthy and beautiful. The front of the car features a sloped nose that is elongated, which affords an unmatched view from the driver seat (for someone who is not exactly the tallest person in the world, it was very welcome). The back of the car reminds us of the Vantage with a slightly bigger badge, which makes it instantly recognizable. While it is a full size SUV, it doesn’t feel like driving a tank and thanks to some clever design and performance cues such as the adjustable air suspension (you can change your ride height on the fly!), you feel like you are in a race car, enveloped snugly in the sumptuous leather seats, with the commands at your fingertips.
Even with the prettiest of objects, functionality comes into play and the DBX shines when you get it on the road. I wasn’t prepared for the jolt of performance I experienced behind the wheel of this beast. (More of a beauty than beast, but you get my point.) True to its racing heritage, this Aston Martin is nothing less than hell on wheels. You completely forget that you are in a SUV, as the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine supplied by Mercedes-AMG (the German automaker also supplies the 9-speed transmission) is brought to life in one of the six driving modes available at the tip of a button. Try the Sports mode and unleash the hounds, you can thank me later. (Note to self: if your expert driver is a NASCAR rookie, be prepared to have your heart rate go way up—it is worth noting that while the car really moves, it is absolutely stable and the tires stick to the road through a curve the likes we’ve rarely seen in a vehicle this big.) The level of attention to detail is simply astounding. As with all Aston Martins, the DBX is completely built by hand and it shows. (A few robots have been brought to the new production facility, but only to move completed parts from one area to another.) Perfect gaps, gorgeous craftsmanship, from the leather inserts in the doors, to the mahogany wood for the center console. You have numerous options, but we reckon that mahogany is our favorite – no facsimile composite materials for the DBX. You can select your color from a variety of shades available to all Aston Martin models. In addition—for the true aficionados, and dare we say, the perfectionists— you can create your ultimate vision through Q by Aston Martin, where your imagination is the only limit.
It was only a matter of time before Aston Martin would get in the crossover utility market—after all, Lamborghini came up with a SUV, didn’t it? Just like its Italian brethren, the expectations for the Aston Martin DBX were sky high, and we are happy to say that, as with its most famous secret agent’s assignments, it is mission accomplished.
Click here to see the full list of awards in Issue No. 13.