Aston Martin sets up camp in former military base for SUV productionView gallery - 7 images
Aston Martin is gearing up to build a four-wheel drive. Previewed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015, the DBX will throw Aston into battle with the high-riding Maserati Levante and Porsche Cayenne when it lands in 2019. Rather than building it alongside the DB11 in Gaydon, the company has started work on a dedicated factory in Wales.
The DBX will be built at a converted military base in St Athan, Wales. Three "super hangars" will be converted into a modern manufacturing plant, a project expected to create around 750 new jobs for the region. The site was officially handed over to Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, yesterday, and it should be ready to start producing cars by 2019.
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"Due to its sheer size and scale, the St Athan Super Hangars represented an excellent opportunity for us to build our second manufacturing facility, within the envelope of an existing structure," says Palmer. "It is perhaps fitting that St Athan is, like our headquarters and sports car factory at Gaydon, a former Royal Air Force base."
Though this marks an important step for Aston Martin, if you're anything like us, you'll want to know what the DBX will look like. Unfortunately, Aston Martin hasn't exactly been forthcoming with details since launching the concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.
That concept might look compact in pictures, but it's actually a seriously big car. At the time, our own C.C Weiss said it "looks too chunky and heavy to be a convincing performance car." He also noted the sloping roofline meant it "doesn't exactly come off as a comfy crossover with plenty of room for the weekend's gear," either.
Based on the silhouette released with information about the upcoming factory, the production car will have a more conventional shape than the coupe-crossover concept. We'd also be surprised if the production car followed through on the concept's promise of an all-electric powertrain, although Aston Martin has been playing around with the idea of a battery-powered Rapide for a while now.
Production of the DBX will begin in 2019. When it launches, the car will be up against the Porsche Cayenne, Maserati Levante and, potentially, Lamborghini Urus, so it will need to be darn good.
Source: Aston MartinView gallery - 7 images