Aston Martin has unveiled a crossover coupe as luxury car makers target women and wealthy consumers.
The all-wheel-drive DBX concept, which debuted at the Geneva International Motor Show, is equipped with electric motors and sports large wheels, narrow headlights and a gaping grille.
While the car is not ready for sale, Aston Martin plans to add a crossover in a departure from its lineup of sports coupes like the Vanquish.
“The DBX Concept is more than a thought starter for us and for our customers,” said CEO Andy Palmer. “We will, in due course, be entering a car into the new DBX space.”
Aston Martin’s move is part of a surge in elite crossovers, as high-end brands respond to demand from wealthy consumers in China and other emerging markets, where sports cars are less popular. Bentley will present the Bentayga later this year, which it boasts will be the world’s most luxurious SUV.
Maserati is finalising the Levante, and Jaguar will start selling its first crossover, the F-Pace, in 2016. They are all following Porsche, which now sells more SUVs than pure sports cars.
General Motors launched its digital Onstar connection service in Europe, offering Opel and Vauxhall buyers free car connectivity for the first year after purchase.
Cars are equipped with their own mobile phone Sim card, enabling Opel to get in touch with a driver if an airbag deploys and alert emergency services, or to remotely unlock the car if somebody has locked keys into the car.
Meanwhile, the main talking point at the show is likely to be a vehicle that may never exist: The Apple car.
The ability of software companies such as Apple and Google — which is working on driverless cars — to innovate and create new revenue streams has spooked car makers.
Another factor intimidating car executives is Apple’s size. With a market capitalisation of $750bn (€670bn), it is worth more than Daimler, Volkswagen, Renault , Peugeot, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors put together.
Carmakers have not given up the fight, though, and many are investing heavily to position themselves as hi-tech companies.
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