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The Aston Martin DBX: A Necessary Evil

Aston Martin DBX Prototype

Aston Martin’s storied history of ultraluxury vehicles will soon include its first SUV. Testing has begun on the all-new DBX, and we have the first official photos. An SUV may seem near-blasphemous for the British manufacturer behind most of James Bond’s most iconic rides, but given Aston Martin’s struggles since going public, an SUV makes the most sense for the automaker’s continued survival. It’s not like everyone else isn’t doing the same thing: Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Maserati all have production SUVs, and even Ferrari is testing a prototype.

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I find the DBX prototype a good-looking SUV, with clean lines and wide rear haunches. The biggest controversies will likely involve the enlarged grille opening and the ducktail rear end. The grille is straight out of Aston Martin’s design playbook, but the prototype’s lipstick-red treatment doesn’t help; that’s also an Aston thing, but it does no favors here. Meanwhile, the rear hatch looks like someone stuck the tail of a Lotus Elise to a luxury SUV. I’m good with both, but maybe you’re not.

Practically speaking, the narrow rear window doesn’t look like it provides the best visibility, but at an assuredly six-figure price, the DBX might boast enough advanced safety tech to overcome any sight-line problems. There’s also no word on drivetrains; Aston Martin’s accompanying video seemed to indicate some rear-wheel-drive bias at the least, but it lacks any engine sounds to hint at what’s under the hood.

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Aston Martin expects the production version of the DBX to debut sometime in late 2019. International markets for the vehicle are unclear, but given U.S. shoppers’ penchant for all things SUV, it’s hard to fathom the DBX not coming stateside.

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