The British OEM has made huge strides in developing its first SUV – which will be badged DBX – as a prototype has been put through its paces on a Welsh rally stage at the hands of the company’s chief engineer, Matt Becker.
This first test signifies the start of an extensive testing program. Though simulation will play an essential role in the early development phases, this first outing in Wales is the start of real world testing, in which the SUV will be subjected to a punishing regime that will ultimately see prototypes of the all-new vehicle tackle some of the world’s harshest environments. This will include the Arctic, scorching deserts in the Middle East, high alpine passes as well as the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The unique nature of DBX in the Aston Martin range means it requires a unique test program; one that features new processes, procedures and standards.
“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 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.”
DBX is scheduled to be unveiled at the end of 2019 and will be built at Aston Martin Lagonda’s St Athan production facility in Wales.
Aston Martin Lagonda president and group chief executive officer Andy Palmer said, “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. 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.”