Aston Martin adds new DBX SUV model to line of upscale sports cars

It's one of those brand names that's famous worldwide: Aston Martin. Now, that famous brand joins a growing trend among upscale auto brands. The newest Aston model is an SUV.

"Tons of our sports car owners already have an SUV. Now they have an option to pair an Aston Martin SUV with their current sports car," said Andy Frank, a training specialist with Aston Martin, The Americas.

Creating the new DBX was a tall order. The company couldn't just build a conventional SUV, slap a grille and logo on it, and call it a day. This SUV had to have the character of an Aston Martin first and foremost.

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"We are not starting with a current platform from another manufacturer. This is all in-house, all Aston Martin. The luxury and the craftsmanship that you're used to with our sports cars carries over to the SUV," Frank noted.

And yes, it has the performance an Aston Martin buyer expects. Thanks to a partnership with Mercedes-Benz, a German-built twin-turbo V8 sits up front, cranking out over 500 horsepower. And almost as important, the DBX has an interior that an Aston Martin buyer expects. Here, pure Great Britain, don't you know. The DBX will be mostly built to order, with a staring price of about $180,000 before options.

Oh, and should you be inclined, yes the all-wheel drive DBX is fully capable off road, thanks to an adjustable air suspension and a "Terrain" mode. Aston Martin expects the vehicle to sell well in Canada and other snowy climates

Almost immediately after the DBX was announced, there were some purists who scoffed. They didn't like the idea of a company known for its sports cars going into the SUV business. Well, that ship first sailed a long time ago.

Porsche started the trend back in '03 with its original Cayenne. Such brands sell SUVs to be able to survive and still build sports cars. The low volume of those alone can't really support most car companies, especially small ones.

And rest assured, Aston Martin has no intention of moving away from sports cars. Behold the new Vantage Roadster. Every bit a sports car, and every bit an Aston. The weekend car, if you will, and still pricey at a beginning MSRP of just over $150,000. Aston Martin sports cars will always be part of the brand.

"They are not going anywhere. This DBX is simply a complement to those vehicles for those who want an SUV," noted Frank.

For those Monday through Friday needs for the upscale set, something more practical, and still stunning in appearance - that would be the DBX. Heck, maybe if James Bond ever settles down, he can use it for carpool duty.

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