Aston Martin is expected to name its first SUV Varekai following the application of a new trademark.
But the Varekai name looks set to adorn the final version because it sticks to the brand's naming convention by starting with a V, like the Vantage, Vanquish and Valkyrie. Aston declined to comment when contacted by Autocar.
The production model is currently under development — its design was signed off late last summer — with intentions of drastically boosting the 105-year-old firm's sales. Aston is going from strength to strength, having posted record profits last year totalling £87 million — £250m more than the £163m loss the brand recorded in 2016.
When the DBX production model arrives, it will rival the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Maserati Levante and top-end Range Rovers and Porsche Cayennes in the luxury 4x4 segment. However, CEO Andy Palmer has previously stated that the DBX will stand apart “because it has not sacrificed any beauty to achieve its practicality or performance”.
The SUV project was envisioned by Palmer before he took up his role at Aston in 2014 and it was officially kick-started on his fourth day in the job. “When you are talking about running a company like Aston, you talk through your ideas with the owners before you are hired,” said Palmer. “My message was simple: if Aston wants to survive, it must do an SUV.
“On my fourth day [as CEO], I got to spend some time with Marek [Reichman, head of design] and I told him I wanted DBX. That was in October and I told him I wanted a concept car ready to show in Geneva by the following March.
“He and his team responded magnificently. One of the many beauties of Aston compared to a large car company is that we can move quickly. If something is agreed, we can leave the room and start working on it immediately, without the need for multi-layer presentations. It’s invigorating and I think we are starting to unlock the benefits of that now. I hope the Aston of today has a swagger — but never arrogance — that it hasn’t had for some time.”
The DBX concept of Geneva 2015 was a two-door, four-seater powered by electric motors mounted inboard of the wheels and powered by lithium sulphur cells. The car featured other high-tech concept flourishes, such as an Formula 1-style kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) to emphasise that it would be at the cutting edge of powertrain technology when it was launched. However, Reichman and his team also made a point of highlighting more practical elements, such as interior and load space.