LONDON -- Aston Martin said its DBX utility vehicle will be powered by a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine making 542 hp, which will give it "sports car levels of performance."
The 4.0-liter engine is the same Mercedes AMG-supplied unit that Aston Martin uses in its Vantage and DB11 sports cars, but tuned to give more power.
Aston Martin said the DBX has recorded a top speed of more than 180 mph in testing, which would put its performance close to its nearest rivals the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus.
The U.K. automaker is counting on the DBX to increase its vehicle sales and revenue as demand for its sports cars wavers.
Lamborghini was revitalized by the launch of the Urus. The brand's vehicle sales grew 96 percent to 4,553 in the first half. More than half of those sales were Urus models.
Bentley has similarly benefited from the introduction of the Bentayga, which last year accounted for almost half of its production.
The DBX uses a bespoke platform while the Bentaya and Urus are underpinned by a Volkswagen Group platform. Aston said this gives its utility vehicle a dynamic edge over its rivals.
The prototype DBX has "regularly achieved" sub 8-minute laps of Germany's demanding Nuerburgring track during testing, similar to high-performance sports cars, Aston Martin said. The DBX has achieved cornering speeds on par with those of its Vantage sports car, it said
Aston Martin said on Wednesday that it had raised $150 million in a steeply priced bond sale to ease liquidity concerns.
CEO Andy Palmer said the bond issue is an "insurance to make the bridge to DBX."
The DBX will be unveiled in December without the camouflage livery used to disguise the looks of new cars and be on the road toward the end of the second quarter, Palmer said.
Existing Aston customers have already been given “a peek behind the curtain” and the vehicle has been favorably received, he said.
Aston Martin aims to lift annual production to 14,000 vehicles by 2023 with the help of the DBX, more than double last year’s sales figure of 6,441 cars. The company is targeting 6,300 to 6,500 sales this year.
The automaker generated about 900,000 pounds ($1.1 million) of cash from operations in the first half, the lowest since it started to disclose earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Palmer said it remains on track to meet analyst estimates for full-year earnings, subject to adjustments to reflect the impact of the issuance of the bond issue.
The DBX will be built in Aston Martin's new factory in St Athan, south Wales.
Bloomberg contributed to this report