LA Auto Show 2019

Aston Martin launches new high-performance DBX, an SUV with the soul of a sports car

The DBX is Aston Martin's first SUV.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

Aston Martin has finally pulled the cover off its much-anticipated SUV, the DBX, following the development pattern other super luxury automakers like Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce. The DBX is chocked full of distinctive Aston Martin flare from the interior materials choices to the exterior design execution.

"I can't emphasize enough how incredibly exciting and significant DBX is for Aston Martin," said Aston Martin Lagonda President & Group CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer. "Through its development alone, this beautiful SUV has already taken the company into new territories and in inspiring directions."

The SUV isn't just pretty; it's pretty capable.Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

Before you start in on how it looks like a Ford Escape, it's important to note that the DBX doesn't photograph nearly as good as it looks in person. In-person you can see the nuanced sculptural elements of the SUV's nose that give the upper lip a curled leading edge and aggressive yet nuanced fender flares.

At the back, the rear of the SUV has a unique trunk design that gives the model hips. When emphasized with illuminated taillights, the look is both unique and fashionable.

Frameless door glass and a panoramic roof add to the elegance of the SUV's design.

2020 Aston Martin DBX interior roof glass The supple leather Aston Martin usually fills its cars with carries over into the new model.Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

The clean sheet design uses bonded aluminum and a new Aston Martin platform to create the SUV, which has a curb weight just under 5,000 pounds. The structure allows the cabin to be roomy, with class-leading interior space.

The DBX is Aston Martin's first five-seater. It boasts class-leading headroom and legroom. Five adults fit in the SUV with enough rear legroom for taller individuals to feel comfortable even with the front seats all the way back. Seats are outfitted in full-grain leather while the headliner is available in Alcantara leather.

The car is squat in its stance, the same way other crossovers are.Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

The luxury automaker has given the car a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that turns out 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paried with a nine-speed automatic transmission and comes with a rear limited slip differential. The DBX can get from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 181 mph.

Aston Martin boasts that the model will have around 20-inches of water fording ability and enough off-road prowess to satisfy most customers.

Aston Martin has evolved its center console in the new model but it still feels very dated compared to what you'll find in mainstream SUVs. However, it is competitive with other super luxury automaker offerings. In the center is a 10.25-inch infotainment screen while a 12.3-inch screen sits in front of the driver.

Aston Martin has given the vehicle high-quality appointments.Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

Apple CarPlay, a 360-degree camera system, and 64-color ambient lighting in two zones come standard.

A number of accessory packages are available to enhance the DBX.

U.S. buyers can get their DBX for $189,900. Enhancements and customization is extra. Orders are currently being accepted and the first delivers will begin in the second quarter of 2020.

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The Continental GT Mulliner is Bentley's newest high-end offering.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors
The Continental GT Mulliner has been added to the Bentley stable joining other models that represent the finest the super-luxury brand has to offer. The Mulliner brand offers buyers a wider variety of customization than the traditional Bentley lineup of vehicles.

The new model features a 'Double Diamond' matrix grille at the front, complimented by matching front fender vents at the sides that feature black and silver design with chromed Mulliner branding. Satin Silver mirror caps with Mulliner Welcome Lamps beneath, and illuminated outer door sills with Mulliner text take residence on the side of the vehicle.

Bentley Continental GT Mulliner 

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Bentley has given the model 22-inch Mulliner wheels with a painted and polished finish. The centre badge of each wheel is self-leveling, keeping its Bentley logo upright at all times.

The cabin of the Continental GT is already plush but the Mulliner brand touch takes the level of sophistication and refinement up a notch. The color split in the cabin is exclusive to the car, with a new combination of primary and secondary hide joined by a third color through a flowing design line.

Mulliner proposes eight different three-color combinations for order, using Bentley's palette of hides and threads to create a contrast throughout the cabin. "Diamond in Diamond" quilting to the seats, doors trims, and rear quarter panels are standard. The quilting consists of nearly 400,000 stitches with each diamond containing 712 stitches.

Each seat in the car is finished with an embroidered Mulliner logo. The floor mats are edged with micro-piping to match the rest of the color theme of the interior. The roof of the cabin is trimmed along its full length with indented hide, or smooth hide to match the seat backs if a buyer chooses the fixed glass roof instead.

The center console is made of a diamond milled technical finish that is flanked by Grand Black walnut veneer and chrome overlays. At the center is a Breitling clock. The passenger side fascia is finished with a silhouette of the car's exterior profile and the Mulliner logo.

The interior appointments can be personalized further with a range of 88 contemporary, colorized veneer finishes that can be matched to the interior or exterior of the car. Burr walnut veneer is hand sanded and polished to produce a perfectly smooth finish before painting to match the colour of the customer's choice. Once dry, the veneer is polished to achieve a mirror-like finish.

Buyers are able to choose whether their Bentley model is powered by a 6.0-liter W12 engine or a 4.0-liter V8. The 12-cylinder gets 626 brake horsepower and the V8 achieves 542 brake horsepower. Both engines come standard with 48-volt active anti-roll technology.

Orders for both coupe and convertible versions of the Continental GT Mulliner will be taken starting in October. The first deliveries begin early next year.

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The new RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car showcases the future of the Hyundai brand.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai debuted the RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car this week, showcasing what isn't the beginning but what is very much the future of what the Hyundai brand will offer. The electric-based high-performance race car, like those designed by other manufacturers is a proving ground for technologies that may be employed in Hyundai passenger vehicles in the future.

Hyundai has been quite open about this calling the platform the RM20e is based on, the RM development platform, will be used for future N brand products that are inspired by the car. This follows as part of the progressive evolution of the car with previous iterations bearing the names RM14, RM15, RM16 and RM19.

RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai's first electric race car was developed for the eTCR electric touring car series in 2019 - the Veloster N eTCR.

"Our new electrified RM20e pushes the proven RM platform forcefully into a new, environmentally-focused decade of the 21st century, stretching the performance envelope of electrification on normal road environments," said Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group. "RM20e represents a revolutionary new chapter of electrified performance for the Racing Midship series, and our N engineers continue to garner valuable insights in the arena of zero-emission performance dynamics."

The mid-engined, rear-wheel drive RM20e features a powertrain that achieves 810 horsepower and 708 pound-feet of torque thanks to its electric motor. It can get from zero to 62 mph in less than three seconds and to 124 mph from a standstill in 9.88 seconds.

Hyundai says that the RM20e combines "race car-like levels of performance, balance, braking, and grip while retaining daily-driver quietness, responsiveness and road-going capability".

The propulsion system driving the car, as well as the equipment that helps it achieve the "race car-like levels of performance, balance, braking, and grip" are part of Hyundai's larger plant to develop hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery, and fuel cell electric vehicles.

Hyundai isn't working alone. The company has formed a strategic partnership with Rimac Automobili to co-develop battery and fuel cell electric vehicle prototypes.

Additionally, Hyundai Motor Group, the parent company of the Hyundai, Genesis, Kia, and new Ioniq brand, has committed to addinng 44 "eco-friendly" models by 2025.

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