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Aston Martin begins testing DBX SUV

by Ronan Glon

This is our first look at the first-ever Aston-badged utility vehicle.

Aston Martin has published the first official images of the DBX, its upcoming SUV. The pre-production prototype shown testing on a dirt road in Wales is fully camouflaged, but the photos give us a better-than-decent idea of what to expect.

They also give us a good idea of what not to expect. You might remember that Aston previewed the DBX with an eponymous concept car unveiled at the 2015 Geneva auto show; this is not that. The design study was a low-slung, two-door model with a coupe-like roof line. The production DBX is more SUV-like with a taller body and four doors, concessions made in the name of practicality. Aston designers nonetheless added a considerable amount of rake to the roof line to make the model look sportier.

The front end falls in line with Aston Martin's current design language with styling cues such as a wide grille mounted low on the fascia and thin, elongated headlights. We can't see the finer details of the rear end's design because Aston fitted its prototype with a set of round lights that look like they're from a 1990s Fiat Coupé.

Technical specifications haven't been released yet, though we wouldn't be surprised if the DBX goes on sale with a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine borrowed from Mercedes-AMG and permanent all-wheel drive. And, similarly, we don't know precisely what's under the sheet metal. Aston stresses the model will be a true SUV, however, meaning it will be able to go off-road and tow.

"DBX is a very different kind of Aston Martin, but we will be testing it in all conditions and across all terrains to ensure it delivers a driving experience worthy of the wings badge," affirmed Matt Becker, Aston's chief engineer.

Aston Martin will manufacture the DBX in a brand-new factory located in St. Athan, Wales. The model will make its debut in the last quarter of 2019, according to the brand, and we expect it will arrive with a base price in the vicinity of $200,000. When it lands, the DBX will compete in the same segment as the Bentley Bentayga, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and the Lamborghini Urus.