Aston Martin has begun testing the first development prototype of its first-ever SUV, confirmed to be named as the Aston Martin DBX, by putting it through its paces on a Welsh Rally stage in the hands of the its Chief Engineer, Matt Becker.
The start of the DBX’s extensive test program in Wales is significant for Aston Martin as it is a nod to its new St Athan production facility in the Vale of Glamorgan. And though simulation is an essential part of the DBX’s early development phase, the start of its real-world testing will ultimately see the development prototypes tackle some of the world’s harshest environments, from the frozen Arctic and scorching deserts of the Middle East to high Alpine passes and the high-speed demands of the German autobahnen and Nürburgring Nordschleife.
As the DBX is Aston Martin’s first SUV, it requires a dedicated test program with new processes, procedures, and standards that reflect its all-purpose role. So other than undergoing performance tests that are typical of the marque, it will also include multi-terrain and towing capabilities as befits a state-of-the-art SUV.
“We have already developed and tuned DBX in the driving simulator, which has enabled us to make excellent progress in advance of the first physical prototype cars being available,” said Becker. “Still, it’s always a big day when you get to put the first actual miles on an early prototype and I’m delighted with the near-perfect correlation between the simulator and this prototype. As an engineer, it’s genuinely exciting to get a feel for the car you’re working to create. 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.”
“Seeing a DBX development prototype in action is a momentous chapter in the story of our first SUV, for it is the moment it really comes alive,” added Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Andy Palmer. “DBX is so much more than ‘just’ an SUV; it will be the first model built at our brand-new facility in St Athan. As such, it is very much the start of a bold new era in the company’s long history.”
The DBX is scheduled to be unveiled in the last quarter of 2019 and will be built at the St Athan facility, a state-of-the-art luxury manufacturing plant that will ultimately become the ‘Home of Electrification’ when the marque’s fully-EV models enter production.
Check out the Aston Martin DBX being put through its paces in the video at the bottom.
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