Why did Aston Martin make a non-V8 DBX?

Whenever we think of Aston Martins, we think of sports cars and grand tourers like the DB11 or the DBS that are powered by a V12 engine. Nowadays, however, there are also V8-powered Aston Martins in the form of the Vantage and the DBX high-performance crossover. But did you know that the luxury marque just revealed a straight-six powered model?

This is the 2022 Aston Martin DBX Straight-Six, and from its namesake, it has an inline-six under the hood. Recently revealed in China, the DBX Straight-Six serves as the brand's first six-cylinder model in over two decades. But unlike their previous inline-six motors, the engine that powers this particular DBX also comes from Mercedes-AMG.

Aston Martin DBX Straight-Six image

It's powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged mild-hybrid inline-six that makes an impressive 435 PS at 5900 – 6100 rpm along with 520 Nm of torque at 1800 – 5500 rpm. If those figures sound familiar, that's because it's the same engine that's seeing use in the Mercedes-AMG 53 high-performance hybrids. Power is then sent to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox with all-wheel drive.

When compared to the Mercedes-AMG twin-turbo V8, the inline-six produces 115 PS and 180 Nm less than the more powerful eight-cylinder. In addition, the V8 can go from 0 – 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 291 km/h. Still, the six-cylinder is impressive as it will allow the DBX to sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds, as well as reach a top speed of 259 km/h.

Aston Martin DBX Straight-Six image

Visually speaking, the DBX Straight-Six looks similar to the V8-powered model that was recently launched in the Philippines a few months ago. It gets massive 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 285/45 tires at the front, and 315/40 tires at the rear. Helping the DBX stop on a dime are six-piston calipers that clamp down on 410mm front discs. Meanwhile, the rear comes with 390mm discs with sliding single-piston calipers.

So we already know just how powerful an inline-six version of the DBX is. But why did Aston Martin actually make one without a V8? That's because this particular version was specially made for China. With a smaller engine, there is less tax imposed on the DBX. With China accounting for 16% of Aston Martin's sales this year so far, (70% of which comes from the DBX), it's no wonder the luxury marque decided to reveal a six-cylinder version.

Aston Martin DBX Straight-Six image

But don't think that Aston Martin is done making more versions of the DBX. Supposedly, the company is looking at making an even more powerful version of the popular crossover. According to a report by Autocar UK, a high-performance variant of the DBX could come with over 600 PS and around 900 Nm of torque.

We might not get the Straight-Six here, but at least we might get an even more powerful version of the DBX's twin-turbo V8 in the near future.