The new Aston Martin SUV won’t be called DBX when it goes on sale next year, instead adopting the name Varekai.
The year 2019 is shaping up to be a big one for luxury SUVs, with Rolls-Royce bringing its Cullinan to market, the new Mercedes-Maybach SUV, the Lamborghini Urus hitting its stride, and now Aston Martin will be launching a new crossover.
Autocar is reporting that the company has trademarked the name “Varekai”, continuing on the tradition of names beginning with V.
While purists may lament the fact that Aston Martin is following every other luxury and sports car company down the SUV path (McLaren excepted), like the Cayenne that saved Porsche, an AM crossover is necessary to keep the company alive.
“When you are talking about running a company like Aston Martin, you talk through your ideas with the owners before you are hired,” said Aston Martin’s CEO, Andy Palmer. “My message was simple: if Aston Martin wants to survive, it must do a SUV.
The DBX concept (pictured above) was born from the need for Aston Martin to have its own SUV, but the announcement of the name Varekai has also brought other details.
The Varekai will be constructed via the same bonded and riveted aluminium process used by the DB11, though the final application will differ somewhat due to the structure requiring extra strength to handle both more vertical body movement and all-wheel-drive.
Under the bonnet will be the same twin-turbo Mercedes-AMG 4.0-litre V8, and twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12 as found in the DB11.
Originally, the DBX was envisioned with an electric drivetrain, and in production form would get both the turbocharged petrol engine and electric motivation, but in an interview with Automotive News Europe, Andy Palmer has confirmed that no EV version of the DBX/Varekai would be made.
Palmer also poured cold water on the idea of a diesel.
“My belief for a long time is that diesel’s life is limited. Ultimately it’s dead,” said Palmer.
What about a plug-in hybrid?
“You’ve got the [extra] weight and cost of two technologies. It’s probably a convenient stepping stone but it’s not one we need,” Palmer said.
The EV version was to be a collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, but we may see this synergy in the Lagonda brand.
With the V12 targeting over 600hp, the SUV should be good for a 0-100kmh sprint of somewhere between 3.2 and 3.6 seconds, depending whether it’s the V8 or V12. Certainly, Aston Martin will want to compete with the Lamborghini Urus on that front.
The new Aston Martin SUV will be built in St Athans in Wales, with preparation currently underway.
SUV Authority will bring you more details when they come to light.