Aston Martin, James Bond’s favourite car brand, enters a new era with the DBX…
In Daniel Craig’s latest outing as James Bond in the this fall’s No Time to Die, no fewer than four Aston Martins including the iconic DB5 and Valhalla supercar share the screen with him. None of them are SUVs — and until recently, the very idea of an Aston Martin that was anything but a flat-out sports car would seem preposterous. But the storied 107-year-old British marque recently debuted the DBX, its first-ever SUV and one that delivers the performance and style long associated with the Aston Martin badge, and we can’t help but think Bond is missing out.
Powered by a 542-hp AMG 4.0-litre V8, it’s capable of doing 0–60 mph in 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 181 mph. Car and Driver speculates that the DBX may well break the SUV lap record at Germany’s legendary Nürburgring circuit. That and its nearly US$200,000 price tag put it firmly in the new category of super-SUV staked out by the likes of the Lamborghini Urus and the pricier Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
It’s a bit more subtle than they are and perhaps a bit cooler for being less aggressively attention-attracting. If you don’t order yours in purple that is. Either way we hope no one does anything aesthetically unfortunate with the beautiful saddle-coloured leather Aston sources for the DBX’s interior — and matching set of luggage — from Bridge of Weir, the 115-year-old Scottish firm that uses only the finest hides sourced from heritage breeds. “The design of the DBX began on a blank sheet of paper,” notes Aston Martin Lagonda’s Vice-President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman. “We created a car with incredible proportions and practicality that will reset the standard for SUVs in the luxury space. It has been a monumental task to deliver such a special car, from the initial design concepts right through to the fantastic work done by the dynamics engineers, and having to create a new manufacturing facility to produce it,” but the investment appears to have paid off with the order book filling up rapidly.
Like the DB5 and the latest DBS Superleggera, the DBX bears the initials of David Brown, the distinguished British businessman who owned the company from 1947 to 1972. And Aston has now entered a new chapter of investment. In January it was announced that Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll had agreed to purchase up to 20% of the company and rename his Racing Point F1 team after the auto brand, giving it a powerful new presence on the world stage (Aston’s sponsorship deal with Red Bull Racing ends this year).
Perhaps the LS era will one day equal that of the DB. Meanwhile the partnership with an F1 team and its engineering expertise is bound to benefit Aston’s road cars as well, and we feel confident in predicting that a Superleggera version of the DBX will one day blow the doors off of anything 007 has ever gotten his hands on.
By JARED PAUL STERN