Teaser image of Aston’s upcoming high-performance DBX S SUV reveals beefed-up styling, with 700bhp V12 possible
Aston Martin has released its first official image of the forthcoming DBX S, claiming the new car will be the “world’s most powerful luxury SUV”.
The super-SUV could utilise the brand’s in-house developed twin-turbocharged V12 engine, potentially with up to 700bhp, to replace the standard car’s Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-litre V8.
This teaser image indicates that the design of the DBX S will be markedly more aggressive than the standard model, hinting at its extra performance. At the front, Aston Martin’s trademark grille will be larger than ever, with a deeply sculpted front bumper and extended splitter improving airflow at speed.
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The wheels look to be the same diamond-cut items currently available with the DBX, although we’d be surprised if new designs weren’t available with the high-performance version. Elsewhere, there’s a deeper rear diffuser that juts out from the rear bumper, which will house a quad-tailpipe arrangement.
We’ve already spied the DBX S in pre-production form, which confirmed that a much larger grille takes centre stage at the front, losing the horizontal slats of the standard car in favour of a black mesh.
The front bumper has been restyled around the new grille, with a single, deep air vent that spans the width of the front end, and rises either side of the main radiator grille. The enlarged vents have been designed to cool a more potent powerplant than before.
This could either be a tuned version of the DBX’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged AMG V8, or the brand’s own 5.2-litre V12. Reports from our spies suggest that the exhaust note of the DBX S matched that of Aston Martin’s V12-powered coupes, the DB11 and DBS Superleggera. If the DBX S is to go head-to-head and exceed super-SUVs such as the 631bhp Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT and 626bhp Bentley Bentayga Speed, a V12 would provide the firepower to do so.
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Aston Martin currently offers the AMG-derived V12 in various states of tune, from 600bhp in the DB11 to a thumping 715bhp in the DBS. Somewhere in between is the DB11 AMR, which is fitted with a 630bhp version.
However, the 542bhp 4.0-litre V8 of the standard DBX can also be stretched for a total power output exceeding this, as demonstrated by the flat-plane-crank unit fitted to the Mercedes AMG-GT Black Series, which produces 720bhp. Installing a more potent V8 into the DBX would certainly be simpler, and cheaper, than packaging in a V12, and Aston’s teaser uses a V8 exhaust note.
How much power is necessary to make the DBX the world’s most powerful ‘luxury’ SUV depends on Aston’s definition of its own rivals. Cars such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk pack more than 700bhp. But the most potent rival from an established premium brand is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, which has a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that develops 671bhp.
Under the skin, the DBX S will use a revised adaptive air suspension set-up with a more sporting calibration for added handling sharpness. The new hardcore variant is set to form part of a staple of new DBX models, beginning with a six-cylinder mild-hybrid version before the end of this year, while a plug-in hybrid is in the wings, too.
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