Aston Martin is proceeding with plans to launch the DBX as its first production crossover. It just can't say at this point what it will be based on.
Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Aston's new CEO Andy Palmer indicated that basing the DBX on a Mercedes SUV platform would not be its first choice because they "clearly sit in a very different space to the one we want to go" with the DBX. Instead, the company's first choice would be to build the crossover atop the new platform it's developing for its sports cars. "It just depends how high off the ground it could go," said Palmer. "I don't exclude the possibility of using some [Mercedes] parts, but I would say very much the primary route is our platform."
The prospect of building an Aston SUV on Mercedes architecture – namely that of the GL-Class – has been on the table for some time now. The Lagonda SUV concept it showcased at the Geneva show in 2009 was based on the GL, and the two automakers have been forging a tightening alliance in the years since. The British automaker's next-generation engine is to be built by Mercedes-AMG, and it is expected to source other components from the German automaker as well.
For its part, Mercedes has been taking a sportier approach with its latest crossovers, as demonstrated by the GLE Coupe that debuted before the more conventional version and the Concept GLC Coupe that previewed the GLK's replacement in Shanghai last month.
Aston Martin, on the other hand, is building a new sports car platform that will underpin its next generation of luxury GTs, replacing the long-serving VH architecture that has served for decades as the basis for its entire model line. Perhaps the most surprising of ANE's report, though, is that Aston seems to be proceeding with plans to build the DBX apparently without even knowing what platform it will use.