The automotive industry is something of a copycat league. There is always an innovator to a new segment, or niche or feature, and then once it becomes a hit, other companies fall over each other to rip off … er … imitate that same idea. Remember when the GMC Syclone was the first ultra-fast pickup truck back in the early ’90’s? It was such a rebellious and novel idea, and then when it seemed like there was a market for it, suddenly we saw the Ford Lightning, and then the Viper-engined Dodge Ram SRT-10 showed up, then the Silverado SS, then the F-150 Raptor, and on and on.
This same notion happened when the BMW X5 stormed onto the scene. Some people thought it was crazy to have a luxury brand carmakers pump out an SUV. But the public adored it, and then we saw the Mercedes GL-Class show up, and then the Audi Q-Series jump into the fray, while Acura came long with the MDX and even Infiniti showed up with their questionably styled FX. Even Porsche had made a giant leap into the mix with its Cayenne.
Taken to yet another level of perceived psychosis, when Bentley introduced us to the ultra-luxury Bentayga SUV, we still weren’t quite sure what to think, but we did know what was coming. Sure enough Rolls Royce dropped in with its 300k Cullinan, and then the ultimate hammer dropped on the world, when the Lamborghini Urus exploded onto the scene with 641-horsepower, and the first truck from the raging bull company since its ill-fated LM002 back in the ’90’s. But wait, there’s more. Now, we’d like to introduce you to the newest member of this elitist club — the 2020 Aston Martin DBX.
With a length of 198.4 inches, width of 78.7 inches, height of 66.1 inches and wheelbase of 120.5 inches, the DBX slots itself nicely into the middle of the pack of the aforementioned competition. It does weigh in at a comparatively-svelte 4,950 pounds, which is at minimum 350 pounds lighter than the next lightest of that group, though it’s hard to imagine calling any 5,000 pound truck “light”.
But, the DBX does feel light on its feet. For such heft, it is solid and confidence-inspiring at every turn, which may be in part due to Aston Martin’s traditional use of bonding and riveting its aluminum skeleton for its vehicles. Thanks to the magnificent Mercedes-AMG sourced 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 that can also be found in the Vantage and DB11 models, this iteration of that motor makes a very silly 542-horsepower and equally impressive 516 lb-ft of torque. That power gets sent through a very capable 9-speed automatic transmission and on to all four wheels.
The company claims the DBX can sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, and has a top speed of 181 mph. We have no doubt of either claim. Engineers wanted to be sure that the DBX still felt like an Aston Martin — they do have a reputation to live up to after all. So adaptive dampers and triple chamber air springs were both employed to allow for a significant height adjustment, up to 1.8 inches higher or a full 2.0 inches lower, depending on what sort of road, and what speed you might be traveling. Five driving modes will be made available: GT, Sport, Sport Plus, Terrain and Terrain Plus. The active center transfer case is a multifaceted sidekick for the driver, and while, mostly rear-wheel drive, torque can be sent up to the front axle as deemed necessary by the onboard computer. Out back there is an electronic limited slip rear differential that helps dramatically to stabilize handling when necessary. That combined with the 48-volt electric active anti-roll bar system to help mitigate body roll makes the DBX feel more sport than utility.
Though, the DBX is still a truck in its own right. That fancy engine does allow for a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds, and offers up great space for driver and passengers, as well as 22 cubic feet of cargo space. The company says the DBX has a 25.7 degree approach and 27.1 degree departure angle as well as an 18.8 degree break-over angle, which we are sure is enough for anyone willing to pony up the $192,986 for one of these things.
So while we love all things Lamborghini, we have to admit that the biggest thing going for the DBX is that it is flat out gorgeous from any angle. It looks fast standing still, and still has that same charisma that so many of the DB’s and Vantages have had over the years. And not only is it better looking than the Urus, it is also cheaper, but only in price. So, although the DBX is a little late to the ultra-luxury SUV party, we have to say, it stole the show, and it is a truck that James Bond would be proud to drive.