- aston martin's new luxury crossover will launch with a twin-turbo 542-hp 4.0-liter v-8, the company has announced.
- the dbx debuts in december, with a hybrid version and a possible full ev to follow.
- the company claims prototypes have already posted sub-eight-minute nürburgring nordschleife laps in testing.
we will have to wait a while longer before we see the finished version of aston martin's first suv, with the production dbx set to be unveiled in december. but before then the company has released details about the car's powerplant.
the dbx will be launched with the 4.0-liter twin-turbo mercedes-sourced v-8 that aston already uses in both the vantage and the db11; it's also the same engine that powers merc's amg 63 models. this will produce 542 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, making it aston's most powerful v-8 offering.
we will have to wait a while longer for performance figures, but aston has dropped plenty of hints that the dbx will be in the running to be the world's fastest suv. we're told that, during testing on the nürburgring nordschleife in germany, the dbx exceeded 180 mph and recorded cornering speeds similar to those of the much lower and lighter vantage. the company also says the dbx has demonstrated better braking performance than the range-topping dbs superleggera.most impressive is aston's claim that the development team—led by chief chassis engineer matt becker—has regularly seen sub-eight-minute nordschleife times during testing. the current suv record around the 12.9-mile circuit is seven minutes, 49.4 seconds, set by the mercedes-amg clc63s last year. don't be surprised if aston mounts a serious challenge to better that.
becker previously told car and driver that the dbx will have both air suspension and an active anti-roll system to keep its mass under tight control. we're also told it will have a specially tuned exhaust system to ensure it sounds suitably commanding; the official release promises "a deep bass with increasing midtones creating true auditory exhilaration, particularly in more sporting drive modes."
we also know that other powerplants will follow, at least one of which will be hybridized. an ev is also likely at some point in the model's life span, but only after the pure electric lagonda suv has been launched. when we spoke to aston boss andy palmer earlier this year, he also suggested that the company's new turbocharged v-6, which will power the valhalla and vanquish supercars, is also likely to find its way to front-engined models like the production dbx.
aston has been suffering recently from weakening demand for its sports cars and disruption caused by uncertainty over the u.k.'s brexit from the european union. the company's stock price has more than halved since its ipo last year. the hope in england is that the dbx will be the car to turn around the brand's fortunes.