New Aston Martin DBX SUV Details Revealed by Preproduction Prototype

Daniel Golson
Photo credit: Aston Martin

From Car and Driver

  • Ahead of its debut later this year, Aston Martin has shown off new images of its DBX SUV.
  • This preproduction prototype is still covered in camouflage but gives us a great look at a number of new details.
  • The DBX will go on sale in early 2020 and will be built at a new factory in Wales.

Aston Martin's upcoming DBX, the brand's first SUV, isn't set to be revealed until the end of this year, but the factory in Wales where it will be built has already begun producing cars. They aren't full production-spec DBXs, though, but still camouflaged, closer-to-production prototypes. But the preproduction DBX shown in these new images reveals a number of new details that we couldn't see in previously released photos.

Photo credit: Aston Martin

Unlike the prototypes that we saw in November, which had the production car's body shell but numerous tacked-on prototype parts, the preproduction DBX shown here is basically what will be sold to the public-aside from the camo, of course. There's a gaping grille with cross-sectioned slats and small air intakes on either side, as well as a mesh grille on the lower section of the front bumper. The production headlights are expressive LED units, and the DBX has a clamshell hood that sadly doesn't seem to be forward-hinged as on other Astons. This DBX doesn't have any sort of prominent front skid plate to show that it's a "real" SUV, but we wouldn't be surprised if the DBX were offered with some kind of off-road appearance package.

Photo credit: Aston Martin

Where the initial prototypes had doors and windows that weren't final and looked as if they had been taken from a race car, we can now see the production units. The DBX has frameless door glass, and the door handles are the same flush-fitting units as on other Aston models. The DBX's actual shoulder line is covered up by a fake ridge, but we can tell that the rear hips are very pronounced and that the DBX has smooth, fluid surfacing with some crisp character lines. This prototype has roof rails and a panoramic sunroof, and the camo is covering up what looks like a large front fender vent. The rear hatch is very raked, giving the DBX the oh-so-desirable coupelike appearance, but we can't see the final design for the greenhouse as everything aft of the rear doors is covered. (We bet there will be some sort of contrasting-color floating roof design similar to what was on the concept.)

The sole photo of the rear is taken from far away, but we can see that the DBX has a prominent ducktail spoiler that likely has a continuous rear taillight strip, mimicking the look of the Vantage. Real mesh grilles in the lower bumper are integrated into a diffuser and contain a single exhaust tip on each side, with the license plate housing sitting just above. A small spoiler sits atop the rear hatch and allows air to flow from the roof down through to the ducktail.

Photo credit: Aston Martin

What these photos can't tell us is anything more about the DBX's mechanicals or powertrains. We know that it will ride on a modified version of the aluminum architecture that underpins the DB11 and that it will likely debut with the AMG twin-turbo V-8 engine that is found in other Aston Martin models. The DBX will be Aston's first car to use all-wheel drive, and it's also set to receive plug-in-hybrid and electric variants.

Testing of the DBX began late last year, with Aston detailing how the SUV has been put through its paces at Welsh rally stages, the Nürburgring racetrack, and the frozen Arctic Circle. The Saint Athan, Wales, production facility is built on a former military airfield, and Aston calls it the company's Home of Electrification. It's set to start churning out production DBXs in the first quarter of 2020, with Aston saying the opening of the factory has already created 200 jobs and is set to create up to 550 more. We expect the DBX to make its debut at one of the major auto shows in the fall, likely Frankfurt in September or Los Angeles in November.

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