Off-road testing for Aston Martin’s first ever SUV has begun ahead of its debut in Q4 2019.
Next year will mark the start of a new era for Aston Martin as this is when the supercar maker will reveal its first ever SUV at a time when other high-end automakers like Lamborghini and Ferrari are jumping on the profitable SUV bandwagon, as sacrilegious as that may sound.
Ahead of its debut in Q4 2019, initial prototype testing for Aston Martin's SUV has begun. Despite trademark filings suggesting it will be called the Varekai, Aston Martin has confirmed the SUV will be called the DBX – the same name as the original DBX Concept unveiled in 2015 previewing the production model.
The first Aston Martin DBX prototype is being put through its paces by the company’s Chief Engineer, Matt Becker, at a muddy Welsh rally stage as a nod to Aston Martins’ new St Athan production facility where the DBX will be built along with the automaker’s upcoming Lagonda EVs. It marks the start of an extensive real-world testing program for the DBX, which will tackle extreme environments across the globe from the frozen Arctic and scorching Middle Eastern deserts, to high Alpine passes, the German autobahn, and the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
While the DBX marks Aston Martin’s first foray into the SUV market, this extensive testing will ensure its off-road prowess won’t be sacrificed in favor of performance. The automaker promises the “state-of-the-art SUV” will have “impressive multi-terrain and towing capabilities,” as well as the luxury and performance you’d expect for a vehicle with a prestigious Aston Martin badge.
“We have already developed and tuned DBX in the driving simulator, which has enabled us to make excellent progress in advance of the first physical prototype cars being available,” said Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Matt Becker. “Still, it’s always a big day when you get to put the first actual miles on an early prototype and I’m delighted with the near perfect correlation between the simulator and this prototype. As an engineer, it’s genuinely exciting to get a feel for the car you’re working to create. The DBX is a very different kind of Aston Martin, but we will be testing it in all conditions and across all terrains to ensure it delivers a driving experience worthy of the wings badge.”
“Seeing a DBX development prototype in action is a momentous chapter in the story of our first SUV, for it is the moment it really comes alive,” CEO Andy Palmer added. “DBX is so much more than ‘just’ an SUV; it will be the first model built at our brand-new facility in St Athan. As such, it is very much the start of a bold new era in the company’s long history.”