Fast Thoughts: Flooded Estate?

A few days ago Aston Martin released photographs of their brand new SUV, the DBX, testing it on the Sweet Lamb rally stage in the welsh forests. My question, are they entering a flooded estate?

But wait, wait wait wait. What about the estate? You know that model type that is effectively a saloon car accept with a larger boot? That is like an SUV, accept lower, more aerodynamic, probably cheaper to build and more aesthetically pleasing?

Its also a car shape that fits Aston’s image as a maker of sleek, fast cars. It would have fit Lamborghini’s and Bentley’s brand images as well, far better than their respective Urus and Bentayga models.

As mentioned, estates would probably be lighter, more aerodynamic and probably cheaper to build for Bentley or Aston Martin who could deploy and modify their Continental GT and DB11 chassis respectively.

I do however understand the economic reasons for Bentley and Lamborghini to go for the SUV, after all they have the financial might of VW to help them. 

I also understand that such a car would be expensive for Aston to build, developing a new shape of a car never is but I feel it would be far cheaper for them than developing this SUV, a car shape Aston has not built before. 

However, there is a very simple reason why, status. The SUV is a status symbol. Riding high the 4×4/SUV has always been a symbol of wealth. Also, if you are appealing to a market with over £100,000 to spend, who want the status of owning your brand and to sit above everyone else, then that is a potent combination. 

Its why all the major premium car companies, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Bentley and now Aston are putting millions into developing SUVs. Not only because they sell but because, quite simply, rich people are willing to pay for cars which are large, ungainly, fuel thirsty and not that good looking.

The problem becoming an ever growing threat on the road ahead is that at some point the SUV will, like fidget spinners, fall out of favour and become a past trend. As a result the second hand market will be saturated and values will plummet. 

Maybe then the hope for the estate car is for the balloon to pop and then rescue the survivors and drive them, with all its benefits, to a more satisfying time.

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