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The $189,000 DBX SUV Is Here to Save Aston Martin

Despite all the indignation that James Bond suffers in the opening scene of The Spy Who Loved Me – a mustard yellow snow suit, a disco version of his musical theme, struck by Soviet assassins – at least he didn’t have to start the day with tracks cool boots. And neither do you, if you make your trip to the Alps in the DBX. Because, along with a suite of luxury delicacies, you can hold on to the base price of $ 189,000, the first SUV from Aston Martin offers a “snow package” that includes not only a roof ski rack and tire chains, but a boot warmer set. And you could also have a warm feeling in your heart, if you like the legendary companies that go back to the 21st century.

The history of Aston Martin is made up of wild ups and downs, and the last few years have been more boom than failure. The 106-year-old automaker garnered just over $ 300 million in 2015, which it used to develop a series of new models. Of these, nobody will mean as much to the company as DBX, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show Tuesday night. This is because the SUV is ready to take Aston out of the small car niche it has long occupied, increase its sales and perhaps its profits, just as the Cayenne and Macan SUVs have done for Porsche in recent years. Moreover, nowadays, all of Aston’s friends are doing SUVs, including Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

Brown leather interior of an Aston Martin SUV

The positive thing for Aston, therefore, is that the capabilities of its designers and engineers are not limited to the production of sports cars and tourers. The DBX, which will reach customers in the second half of 2020, is five and a half feet tall and has a roof that tilts towards the trunk, minimizing the chunkiness common to luxury SUVs. It uses a four-liter V8 biturbo engine (the same in the DB11 and Vantage) to produce 542 horsepower and 516 pounds of torque. This will send him from 0 to 60 mph in a blistering 4.3 seconds and up to an absolutely useless top speed of 181 mph. It handles that power with a nine-speed automatic transmission: CEO Andy Palmer has promised loyalty to the Aston sports car manual, but not here.

Instead of roll bars, which connect the left and right wheels to limit body roll on tight corners, DBX uses an electronic system. It limits the car’s swing to the level you get in a DB11, but allows for extra wheel travel that makes the experience of a trip along a hole in the road an acceptably comfortable experience.

Inside, the DBX is as luxurious as you’d expect, with leather, fine woods and “satin chrome” wherever you look. Fourteen loudspeakers channel the Harman / Samsung 800-watt sound system and the 10.25-inch center screen should satisfy buyers who are accustomed to honking the large phones and tablets.

For really fun things, you’ll have to choose. If the Snow Pack doesn’t appeal, you can choose another “lifestyle accessory package” from Aston, most tailored for fancy assorted hobbies. The $ 33,700 event package includes a tilting bench integrated into the rear bumper, a modular picnic basket and, in a nod to England’s climatological suffering, an umbrella stand. The $ 31.375 Field Sport package takes you to a built-in aluminum weapon locker. If it’s too rich, the $ 1.825 Essentials package includes a center console organizer and tablet mounts for the rear seat kiddos. And because even dogs are imaginative, the $ 3,400 pet package offers a partition to prevent the canine from jumping forward, a bumper protector to prevent their claws from damaging the paint job and a portable battery-powered washer to maintain clean Viscount Doggo.

The real test for the DBX, however, will take place over the next year, as the sales push becomes serious and Aston moves to expand and diversify its customer base. The SUV is the first really different thing that it has done in several decades and the change always involves the risk of failure. But at least we know that the automaker will not have cold feet.

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