Testing is underway for Aston Martin’s DBX S super-SUV, with V12 power possible
Aston Martin is preparing a new, even higher-performance variant of the DBX SUV, possibly using V12 power and badged DBX S. And our spies have captured it in the hands of the brand’s engineers.
As our spy shots reveal, the design of the DBX S will be markedly more aggressive than the original DBX. A new, much larger grille takes centre stage at the front, which loses 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, which 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 coupe’s, the DB11 and DBS Superleggera. If the DBX S is to go head-to-head with super SUVs like the 471kW Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT and 469kW Bentley Bentayga Speed, a V12 would provide the firepower to do so.
Aston Martin currently offers the AMG-derived V12 in various states of tune, from 447kW in the DB11 to a thumping 533kW in the DBS. Somewhere in between is the DB11 AMR, which is fitted with a 470kW version – if the DBX S does indeed utilise a V12, this is the output we’d expect, to bring it squarely into line with its rivals.
However, the 404kW 4.0-litre V8 of the standard DBX can also be stretched for more power, as demonstrated by the flat-plane crank unit fitted to the Mercedes AMG-GT Black Series, which produces 536kW. Installing a more potent V8 into the DBX will be simpler, and cheaper, than packaging in a V12.
Aside from the new nose, this pre-production model is largely unchanged from the original DBX, save for a set of quad-tailpipes that replace the twin setup of the standard car. The rear ducktail and full-width light bar remain, along with the roof spoiler, which is designed to expel water from the rear window at speed.
Under the skin, the DBX S will use a revised adaptive air suspension setup 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 and a plug-in hybrid in the wings too. The DBX S is expected to arrive in early 2022.