LONDON -- Aston Martin may modify its new sports car platform for its DBX crossover rather than use SUV underpinnings from industrial partner Daimler, CEO Andy Palmer said.
Media reports have said that the DBX could use the same platform as the GLC SUV from Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand.
However, Palmer said that the DBX would be more crossover than SUV so Daimler’s SUV architecture likely would not be not suitable. Mercedes SUVs “clearly sit in a very different space to the one we want to go to. They are very much an SUV and we don't want an SUV,” he told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of a conference organized by the Financial Times newspaper in London this week.
Palmer said the DBX needs to reflect the brand’s sports heritage rather than be an SUV. He said buyers should feel like they are sitting in the car rather than “on the car,” referring to SUVs’ high front seat position.
Aston Martin is developing a new architecture to replace the current platform that underpins its luxury sports car range. The first car built on the platform is likely to be the successor to the DB9 2+2 coupe. The car is likely to go on sale next year.
The company is investigating whether the platform can be adapted to fit the DBX. “It just depends how high off the ground it could go,” Palmer said. “I don't exclude the possibility of using some [Mercedes’] parts, but I would say very much the primary route is our platform.”
The new architecture will use extruded and cast aluminum to reduce weight, Palmer said.
Aston Martin said on April 30 that it has raised $315 million for the development of a crossover based on the DBX concept unveiled at the Geneva auto show in March, as well as other vehicles that fall outside its traditional lineup of luxury sports cars.
The DBX is expected to go on sale around 2019 and is aimed at attracting more women and younger buyers to the brand, which has traditionally relied on a small, male audience.
Aston Martin showed a Lagonda-badged SUV concept based on the Mercedes GL in 2009.
Daimler has a 5 percent stake in Aston Martin as part of an agreement for Daimler to supply electrical architectures and V-8 engines for the next generation of Aston Martin cars.