A major step in a new direction for Aston Martin has been made, with the first development prototype of DBX, the brand’s first SUV, being put through its paces along a demanding Welsh Rally stage in the hands of the company’s chief engineer, Matt Becker ahead of its launch in the last quarter of 2019
Though simulation has formed a large part of the DBX’s early development phase, this first prototype drive in Wales signifies the start of ‘real world’ testing, in which development prototypes will be subjected to tackle some of the world’s harshest environments, from the frozen Arctic , to the deserts of the Middle East, to high Alpine passes, high-speed German autobahns, and of course the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Being the marque’s first SUV, the DBX requires a dedicated test program, with new processes, procedures and standards. Also, its dynamic envelope has to extend into areas previously unnecessary for the marque’s sporting roots, including multi-terrain and towing capabilities.
Matt Becker gave an update of the program: “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. Still, it’s always a big day when you get to put the first actual 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.”