An Aston Martin SUV Is Always Going To Be Contentious But A Sub 8-Minute Nordschleife Lap Is Impressive
Sporty SUVs have been a contentious topic ever since BMW and Mercedes-Benz released their first entrants into the fledgling category in the late 1990s. Purists may still balk at the idea of a raised ride-height sports utility vehicle masquerading as a sports car but the sales figures don’t lie and the latest wave of mega-powered SUVs from some fo the world’s pre-eminent supercar manufacturers have proven that the segment is as popular as ever.
Depending on your viewpoint, Aston Martin is either diluting its brand or strengthening its market position with the imminent reveal of its sporty DBX SUV. One thing that is for certain, though, is that it is going to extreme lengths to ensure that this new model will offer all the benefits of a traditional Aston Martin with the added practicality and comfort one expects of an SUV.
Combining such disparate traits is no easy task and the DBX test program is the most extensive of any Aston Martin in history. With the official launch scheduled for December, the DBX is well into the final stages of this exhaustive development process and we now know that it will be powered by a development of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 already doing duty in the Vantage and DB11.
In this application, however, it produces 542 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful V8 in the current range. It has regularly exceeded 180 mph in high-speed testing and its dynamic performance is aptly demonstrated by regular sub 8-minute Nordschleife lap times during the testing regime.
To achieve such impressive results the DBX is capable of cornering at the same speeds as the Vantage and offers even fiercer braking capabilities than the DBS Superleggera. The focus on ensuring that the DBX is still a consummate daily-driver has not been overlooked either, as Matt Becker, Aston Martin’s chief engineer explains: “We have concentrated our work to ensure that the calibration and tune of this 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 delivers both the everyday usability and refinement expected by SUV owners. However, we have also focused heavily on matching that with the engaging driving dynamics that are commanded by our brand and inherent in every Aston Martin and early indications of the car’s overall performance have been incredibly promising.
The SUV may still be an opinion-dividing part of the performance motoring landscape, but with the added practicality and hardly compromised performance levels offered by vehicles like the upcoming Aston Martin DBX, perhaps it is finally time to make a space in the garage for the family-friendly super SUV.
Images courtesy of Aston Martin