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2021 Aston Martin DBX - Luxury Sports SUV

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2021 Aston Martin DBX - Luxury Sports SUV https://youtu.be/-QQ3LfLs570

At a preview event for the 2021 Aston Martin DBX, the automaker's CEO, Andy Palmer, was characteristically direct. "This is clearly the most important car the company's ever done since its first car," he told Road & Track.

Yes, Aston Martin has joined Bentley, Lamborghini, and Rolls-Royce in creating an ultra-luxury SUV. It's been in the works since Palmer joined the company in 2014, and its the linchpin of his "Second Century Plan" for Aston Martin—Palmer's plan to make sure a company has an easier time getting to its 200th birthday than it did its 100th.

Because the DBX is so radically different than any other car Aston Martin has made, the automaker's engineers and designers were forced to find ways to make sure it lives up to the winged badge on the hood. Here's what we learned talking to the people who led its creation.

Palmer said there was an opportunity to turn to Mercedes-Benz—which owns a five-percent stake in Aston Martin—for a platform, but they decided to go in the opposite direction. Aston built its own platform for the car so it would both look and drive as the people at the company expect.
It's powered by the Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 Aston uses in the DB11 and Vantage, but here, it's tuned for more power—542 horsepower verses 503 for the others. The engine is backed up by a Mercedes nine-speed automatic, and power gets to the ground via the first all-wheel drive system in Aston Martin history. An electronic center differential can send 47 percent of torque to the front axle, or up to 100 percent to the rear. Additionally, an electronic rear limited-slip differential distributes power across the back axle.
Suspension is double wishbones up front, and a multi-link setup at the rear. Adaptive dampers come standard, as do 22-inch wheels wrapped with massive custom-developed Pirelli P-Zero summer tires (all-seasons and winters are available, too).

The active chassis hardware is arguably the technical highlight of the DBX, though. Three-chamber air springs allow for adjustable ride height and four effective spring rates, while a new 48-volt active anti-roll controls body motions.

"At the end of the day, you're dealing with physics," Aston Martin chief engineer Matt Becker told R&T. "And if you want to have the broad range of characteristics that we were after, you have to have these active systems. You can't do without."

Aston calls the active anti-roll system eARC, and like similar systems offered by other automakers, electric motors in the middle of each anti-roll bar can loosen or stiffen the bars up as needed. Becker told R&T that these electric motors can apply over 1000 lb-ft of torque to each bar, which he believes is more than any other comparable system. With eARC, it's possible to make a DBX stay perfectly level in cornering, but doing so would feel unnatural. Instead, eARC is tuned to provide body roll comparable to a DB11 when the DBX is in its stiffest chassis setting.

This system can also vary roll stiffness at each axle individually, which allows the handling balance of the DBX to be changed on the fly. Becker told us you can stiffen the rear and slacken the front to help the car oversteer, for example. And for off-roading, the eARC system can reduce anti-roll bar stiffness, too, helping increase wheel travel.
Category
Car Tech

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