Form, Function and Ferocity

16 Feb 2021

Architecture aficionado Michael Ng assesses Aston Martin’s first-ever SUV.

Michael Ng towers in stature, both physically and metaphorically speaking. The burly 1.8-metre-tall gent is Executive Director of CEL Development, a property development and investment company known for numerous architectural icons around Singapore and beyond.

In the 1960s, when Michael was much smaller, he would squeeze into the back seats of modest- sized sedans with several of his friends when their parents took them on leisurely drives to the beach.

These days, the avid golfer’s recreational drives are to various golf courses around Singapore and ‘food hunts’ with his family to acclaimed hawker stalls. Inclined to capacious and well-made cars, Michael reveals that the Aston Martin DBX left quite an impression on him.

“The DBX is a fantastic SUV,” he remarks of Aston Martin’s first-ever SUV. “It’s responsive and stable. It has great feel and balance too. Very importantly, my golf bags can fit in its boot!”

Fresh from Aston Martin’s new factory at St Athan in South Wales, the game-changing DBX is infused with a spirit of wanderlust. The DBX’s cutting-edge technology helps it negotiate different terrains easily, while retaining Aston Martin’s unmatched level of comfort and subtle elegance.

This all-wheel drive SUV has height-adjustable air suspension and is the first Aston Martin to use all-round triple-chamber air suspension. Its double wishbone front suspension is combined with a multilink rear axle, and its 48-volt anti-roll system ensures that the DBX produces close to zero roll, regardless of the terrain.

 An Aston Martin SUV was first envisioned by the company’s late former owner David Brown, from which the DBX inherits its first two initials. Today, his dream is realised, clad in a distinctly Aston Martin-style chassis and brandishing a classic Aston Martin grille.

This grille is complemented by gorgeous daytime running lights that operate separately from the main headlights, and two air inlets that maximise the aerodynamic balance and cool the engine. At the rear, its signature LED light blade is a salute to the Aston Martin Vantage.

Its hood enshrines a hand-built, four-litre twin-turbo Mercedes-AMG V8 engine. One of the lightest SUVs in the market, the DBX has a power output of 542bhp and can generate up to 700Nm of torque.

Possessing a penchant for powerful automobiles, Michael shares that he wasted no time in pushing the DBX’s remarkable engine to its limit during his test drive.

“As the saying goes, power without control is nothing,” Michael quotes. Sure enough, the individual brakes and dampers on the DBX’s wheels kept Michael on top of things, as he stamped down on the accelerator while negotiating slippery roads. Armed with a state-of-the-art differential system, the DBX negotiates turns silently and effortlessly.

Bolstered by an armada of highly intuitive smart driving technology, the quiet and stable cabin sets the minds of Michael and his passengers at ease, while they are entertained by 14 surround sound speakers and a 12.3-inch screen.

Portfolio: Why do you and your wife both like SUVs?

Michael Ng: In our family, all four of us are quite big-sized, so we need cars with space. SUVs also come in handy when we need luggage space for family trips. Our SUVs let us bring foldable bicycles and even regular bicycles with us on our trips.

How did the DBX match up against other SUVs that you’ve driven?

The DBX is not your normal SUV. It has enough headroom and legroom for passengers, it’s comfortable to drive, but performs more like a sports car than a normal car. I’m very satisfied with its storage space. The DBX ticks all the boxes – it’s a good drive, has good airbags and cabin safety, it’s practical and it’s a very handsome car. It has some of the best specs in its category. Overall, it is a very distinct product.

What do you think of the appearance and agility of the DBX?

The first thing that struck me was its look. Beautifully crafted, but not overly loud design. It performed very well and I was pleasantly surprised. Its stability and braking were impressive – one must feel confident of controlling a car when driving it. It has a powerful pickup, especially in sports mode, which felt as powerful or perhaps more powerful than my sports car.

Did you prefer the DBX’s sport mode or normal mode?

I like both its sport and normal driving modes. Its sport mode has more of a kick. The DBX is a very good everyday car – an easy, comfortable drive but you can also pump up your drive when you want to. In both modes, this SUV has excellent control, isn’t too menacing and retains the feel of an Aston Martin.

What does the Aston Martin brand mean to you?

It’s an alluring brand with a compelling image. Of course, Aston Martin is best known as the James Bond car.

If you had to pick one, what’s your favourite feature of the DBX?

The DBX’s full sunroof. As I work in property, I like looking at buildings as I drive. As I pass buildings, I like opening my sunroof and stopping to take pictures. Looking up to buildings from the road below gives a different feeling. I’m very particular about design and the DBX’s panoramic sunroof lets me enjoy the articulation of building’s facades with an unblocked view.

For you, what is a luxurious drive?

A luxurious drive to me is a comfortable drive. I don’t need the bling. So long as the car has a good look and feel. The same goes in property development. How you blend different materials is very important. Nice touches that are carefully thought-through are what makes good design. The DBX is beautiful, balanced, powerful and restrained; a great experience. Also, its engine sound was sublime; you can hear its power in its soft hum.


Wearnes Automotive
45 Leng Kee Rd, Singapore 159103. T +65 6430 4888