Your dreams of an upmarket, V12-powered, British version of the 1996 GMC Yukon GT can be put to bed. The production version of 2015’s Aston Martin DBX Concept will not maintain the concept’s bodystyle.
Production vehicles periodically trace very little back to the concept vehicles that were originally intended to act as previews. Indeed, the defining element of the DBX shown in Geneva in March 2015 is gone. “There are aspects of the car that have changed dramatically,” Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer says, “perhaps none more so than the fact that it is now a four-door.”
Although the coupe format has been cast aside, Aston Martin’s boss believes the company will not have to trade beauty in exchange for true 4×4-ness. “If Aston Martin wants to survive, it must do a SUV,” Palmer says. And in this era, there are aspects of perceived SUV-ness that simply aren’t compatible with a two-door format.
Speaking to Autocar, Andy Palmer revealed plenty of details regarding the late-2019 launch of Aston Martin’s utility vehicle.
The dynamic benchmark for the Aston Martin DBX is the Porsche Macan. “It is probably dynamically the best car in the SUV category,” Palmer says.
The production DBX must be more suitable for female clientele than Aston Martins have been in the past. Only 5 percent of the 70,000 Aston Martins ever sold were delivered to female customers.
750 workers will be employed at the DBX’s assembly plant in St Athan, Wales. At its headquarters and assembly facilities in Gaydon, England, Aston Martin currently employs fewer than 2,000 people. Although Aston Martin sold fewer than 4,000 cars in 2016 and hopes to soon sell 7,000 cars annually, Palmer hopes the DBX will double the brand’s annual volume.Expect the roofline of the production DBX to be significantly higher than the concept car’s low slung top. Aston Martin doesn’t want to build an impractical SUV. “A 4×4 needs to be big, it needs to convey safety and security and yet it also needs to be easy to get in and out of,” says Palmer, who has signed off on the production model’s design (and who initiated the DBX process on his fourth day on the job).
Expect V12 and twin-turbo V8 power, all-wheel drive, and an aluminum structure that shares architecture with the Aston Martin DB11.
According to Automotive News estimates, Aston Martin’s U.S. volume is down 2 percent to 399 units through 2017’s first seven months. In the brand’s home UK market, sales have more than doubled to 1,066 units so far this year, the SMMT says.
On U.S. dealer lots in 2017, there are three — wait, now just two — SUVs/crossovers with only two doors. The non-Unlimited Jeep Wrangler is the most popular. 8 percent of U.S. Land Rover Range Rover Evoque comes from the coupe and convertible. Nine copies of the defunct Mini Paceman were sold in early 2017. The Aston Martin DBX will not join them.
Neither will the GMC Yukon GT.
[Images: Aston Martin, @Capipaula182/Twitter]