Published:  01:55 AM, 12 November 2019

Aston Martin is locked and loaded for SUV debut

Aston Martin is locked and loaded for SUV debut Aston Martin's DBX is put through its paces ahead of formal launch on November 20. -AP

The clock's ticking for Aston Martin's big reveal. On November 20 in Beijing, the British marque finally gets to show off its SUV  the DBX  that attempts to combine oodles of performance with the trappings of luxury. And if enough people are convinced, get them to sign up for the model that is priced at Dh848,000 - and much more. (But they will still need to wait a few more months to actually drive off in their new vehicles. For Aston Martin, the DBX is the latest - one would say, the most serious - attempt at breaking the hold its great rivals Rolls-Royce and Bentley have at the top of the automotive pyramid.

But, based on market feedback, enough buyers in the UAE and Gulf had already placed their orders, well before the first sightings of what it would look like. Dan Balmer, President for Aston Martin Lagonda Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, is nonplussed by all this interest. "Yes, this is quite common for us, we call them "Confidential" events and they happen all over the world," said Balmer. "Our customers know they will be shown something special ahead of the general public... so the response is always strong. This is a key part of our position as a luxury brand, our customers learn about our new models in great detail before public releases." Building a DBX base in these markets will be central to future prospects. It is a strategy that worked well for Bentley's Bentayga (launched in 2015 and priced from Dh850,000) and the Rolls' Cullinan (introduced in 2018 and with a price tag upwards of Dh2 million).

Balmer does not intend to get into a numbers game just yet. "We won't indicate a regional breakdown - but we will confirm we expect DBX to double our sales in this region due to the high demand already seen for luxury SUVs and the fantastic early reaction we have already seen. "DBX combines our sportscar performance and handling with SUV capability and safety.  - AP, Dubai

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