When you turn an Aston Martin into a bend, you should only consider how you can get out of that bend as quickly as possible, preferably with smoking tires and a tail just swinging out so that you can drive faster through that Curve in the street without losing control. It's about combining throttle, brake and steering so that everything points in the right direction. That's what I think when I hang an arch on the left, but the calculation is new. Instead of a predictable pavement, I'm on a dirt road that is covered with the smooth red sand of the Arabian Peninsula. And instead of a racing car like Aston's Vantage, I'm in the company's brand new SUV, the DBX.
I'm testing the DBX in Oman, where Aston's engineers are rounding off the handling and dynamics. The sleek new five-passenger model, valued at $ 1
I turn the wheel to release the rear end and operate the throttle. The Aston jumps and trembles across the undulating surface, but keeps the line as it bends to the left. The all-wheel-drive system, which is preloaded from the rear and regulates the torque of each wheel from one millisecond to the next, helps the car crawl to the side of the road with increasing oversteer, the tires spewing stones and dirt onto the boulders. "We try to send the engine to the right places so that it is fun and playful, but still very safe," says DBX chief engineer Matt Becker. "As you can see, to everyone's delight, the car can drive sideways."
The Aston delivers a few scary moments as the terrain slides underneath, but does an impressive job when you consider that it lacks the right kit – crisp tires and a real off-road suspension – that would make driving on roads unbearable. The V8 engine introduced by Mercedes-AMG develops 542 hp and brings the SUV to 300 km / h. The nine-speed transmission keeps up very well and gives me no reason to disturb the shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
This is just another test for the DBX, but each class is overweight. Aston Martin's sales dropped last year despite a number of wild supercars like the Vantage, DB11 and DBS, the Valkyrie hypercar and the upcoming Valhalla hypercar. In spite of various efforts to secure further investments and to equip the company's financial ship. A fast-selling SUV could be Aston's savior. It wouldn't be the first of its kind: luxury SUVs from Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and Maserati have become customer favorites and reflect the market's obsession with the big rides and the desire of performance enthusiasts for a practical vehicle themselves.
To convey this feeling, Aston's engineers rely heavily on the highly adaptable, electronically controlled drives and suspensions that made multi-environment SUVs possible. The 48-volt electrical system of the DBX, for example, enables an active stabilizer that pushes the wheels down during hard cornering. An old-fashioned passive equivalent like the torsion bars, which have to be permanently adjusted, cannot be matched to the driving conditions.