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Aston Martin confirms their first luxury SUV production

It all started in 2002. That’s the year Porsche launched the Cayenne and began the luxury crossover movement. It sold a bazillion of them, racking up sales and profits. Now everyone wants in on the game, because wealthy consumers apparently have an endless appetite for increased ride height and comfort.

Rolls, Bentley, and Lamborghini are doing it. Land Rover keeps whipping up increasingly fancy versions of the Range Rover to keep up.

Now, Aston Martin is joining the fray.

The British marque has raised $300 million to fund various projects, and it announced last week one of those will be a production version of the “luxury GT crossover” DBX concept it debuted at the Geneva auto show earlier this year.

Rolls-Royce is building something called Project Cullinan, though it won’t deign to use the term “SUV.” It’s a “high-bodied” Rolls, able to “cross any terrain”. Bentley, on the other hand, has no qualms about calling its upcoming Bentayga a sport utility vehicle. Lamborghini has been teasing us with its Urus SUV for three years now, and we fully expect it to announce production in the next couple of years.

Aston’s entry may be the most surprising. It’s a tiny independent automaker, not part of massive manufacturer whose parts it can borrow, like Rolls-Royce (BMW), Bentley (Volkswagen), or Lamborghini (also Volkswagen). To build an entirely new car, in an entirely new category, an ambitious and expensive move. And that’s why it’s raised all this money.

“It allows us to do something different,” says company spokesperson Matthew Clarke. Aston denies it’s chasing a trend, but it’s probably right to think that more diversity in the product is a good thing.

Aston is looking at a different demographic from its usual buyers—especially women and young drivers. And it hopes to open up different markets with the as-yet unnamed ride. In lots of places, an Aston Martin touring sedan isn’t very practical, because of ride height, rough road conditions, or what have you. It may be cool to own one anyway, but it’s cooler to be able to drive it comfortably.

Rural areas of Russia or the Middle East or China are burgeoning with wealthy folks who might not think of buying a traditional Aston for practical reasons. An SUV could win them over. As Clarke points out, China doesn’t really have a sports car culture like we have in the US or Europe, though it is developing—and a luxury crossover could be Aston’s ticket in.

Details on the production version of the DBX are scarce, but we know it will start as a four-door crossover, with a two-door version possible down the road. It’ll have an all-new architecture (part of a five-year revamp of the company’s entire lineup), and Aston is aiming to have it in showrooms before the decade is out. The concept is an all-wheel drive, all-electric affair, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see that come to fruition, especially four years from now. Expect a more traditional, naturally aspirated V8 or V12 engine under the hood to be an option as well. Don’t worry about looks: Aston makes beautiful cars, and it should be able to build a beautiful crossover.

“We think it’s the [grand tourer] car of the future,” Clarke says. Perhaps, but one thing is for sure: Buyers looking to spend a few hundred grand on an SUV will be spoiled for choice in just a few years.


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