Under the bonnet lies a 4.0-litre petrol V8 borrowed from the Mercedes-AMG E 63 - which makes it a slightly different unit from the one used in Aston's Vantage and DB11 models, here developing 543bhp and 700Nm of torque. The active four wheel drive system and torque vectoring rear differential is borrowed from an E 63 too. Transmission choice you'd expect to be either the 7-speed auto used by the E 63 or the 8-speed ZF auto that features in Aston's other models but in the event it's neither, a 9-speed DCT auto decided upon so that the engineers could provide for the kind of decent towing capacity that the brand knew some DBX owners might want - it's rated at 2.7-tonnes. That choice of gearbox slightly limits ultimate torque and therefore performance but it's still pretty rapid, 62mph from rest achievable in 4.5s en route to 181mph. If you want to go faster than that in an SUV, there's something wrong with you.
As usual with any luxury sporting car (and any Aston) there are lots of driving modes, the ones on offer here likely to be familiar to Aston regulars. 'GT' will be your default pick, but if you want to get the emotively-tuned sports exhaust crackling, there's also 'Sport' or 'Sport+' options, plus an 'Individual' menu allowing you make the most of all the new engineering tech (much of it never previously used by the brand). This includes four-chamber air suspension, adaptive Bilstein dampers and a 48-volt 'eARC' ('electric Anti Roll Control' system) with roll-cancelling active anti-roll bars. Interestingly though, Aston chassis expert Matt Becker decided against using the kind of 4-wheel steering tech that features on obvious rivals, believing that it corrupts the 'purity' of the car's steering feel. As for those drive modes, well as with other models from the company, we reckon the 'Individual' menu settings sweet spot is likely to see power (or throttle response) set to 'Sport', exhaust on 'Sport+' and chassis on 'GT'. There are also off road setting options (yes, the DBX will properly go off road: in fact it can water through water up to 500mm deep). The 4x4 rough surface settings are 'Terrain' (where the air suspension lifts the car higher) and 'Terrain+' (higher still).