Aston Martin has been on a product push in the past couple of years, having refreshed and redesigned much of its sports car lineup. And now it finally has an SUV.
Unveiled last week, the 2021 DBX will place the British ultraluxury brand into the bustling field of SUVs from some of the industry's most exclusive names when deliveries begin in the second half of 2020.
For the entity known as Aston Martin the Americas, which covers the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru, the DBX is an opportunity to attract new people to the brand, said Laura Schwab, president of the brand's operations in the Americas.
"We see a huge opportunity to conquest," Schwab told Automotive News. "We've got golden expectations of conquesting new customers. The core sports cars that we've launched over the last two years have brought over a lot of new customers to Aston Martin. I think we're going to see a lot of new faces, which is really exciting. The car is obviously going to appeal to our current customer base as well because every inch of it is an Aston Martin."
The DBX's design is instantly recognizable as an Aston Martin thanks to its headlights and grille. The rear styling mirrors the Vantage coupe.
When Aston Martin introduced the DBX as a concept at the 2015 Geneva auto show, it looked more like a high-riding sporty coupe than a traditional SUV. Not so with the production model, which has 22-inch wheels, four doors, a large rear gate and, most importantly, room for five occupants, plus cargo.
Schwab said the emphasis on the vehicle's interior resonated with customers during private previews.
"That's what customers have really gravitated to because they see the sportiness of the car, but then they sit in the inside and they've just been blown away by the space," she said.
The automaker expects customers to use the DBX as a daily driver, given that the SUV is more practical than Aston Martin's current range of sports cars.
"This one definitely will be used more frequently," Schwab said of the SUV, noting that Aston Martin's retailers had to adjust their training.
"For them, it's getting ready to address a new customer," Schwab said.
The DBX starts at $192,986, including shipping, in the U.S. It will compete with the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
Aston Martin has 44 dealerships in the Americas region, including 36 in the U.S. The Americas is Aston Martin's largest region by sales volume globally, accounting for 27 to 30 percent of volume, a company spokesman said.
The DBX, with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine making 542 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque, doesn't shy away from performance. It also has all-wheel drive, a key feature for snowier climates and year-round use in the U.S. and Canada.
"SUVs have appeal all over, and I think that's what is so exciting for us and for our dealers," she said.