In the present day of car-making, the road to profitability often comes in the form of three words – Sport Utility Vehicle. At least for super luxury marques that is, whose brand ethos revolve heavily around making emotive, high-performance sports cars.

The trend, first sparked by the Porsche Cayenne, has necessitated the creation of the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus, with sales of the latter doing unexpectedly well for the brand. Rolls-Royce too wants in on the action, and it won’t be long until we see its first ever SUV, the Cullinan. Lest you forget, Ferrari too, is “dead serious” about its high-riding venture.

Aston Martin has long revealed its interest in making SUVs, having first previewed the DBX concept at the 2015 Geneva motor show. The latest headwind sees the company applying trademark for the name “Varekai”, and considering its plans to roll out the production model in 2019, the timing surely isn’t coincidental, right?

If anything, the Varekai name adheres to the brand’s naming convention by starting with a V, such as the Vantage, Vanquish and Valkyrie. According to Autocar, its final design was signed off last summer, and the 105-year old company hopes that it will drastically boost sales volumes. CEO Andy Palmer previously said that the DBX will stand apart from its above-mentioned rivals “because it has not sacrificed any beauty to achieve its practicality or performance.”

The SUV project was envisioned by Palmer before joining Aston Martin in 2014. Interestingly, it was officially kick-started on the fourth day of his career. “When you are talking about running a company like Aston Martin, you talk through your ideas with the owners before you are hired,” said Palmer. “My message was simple: if Aston Martin wants to survive, it must do an SUV.”

“On my fourth day [as CEO], I got to spend some time with Marek [Reichmann, 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 was a two-door, four-seater car that’s powered by electric motors mounted inboard of the wheels and powered by lithium sulphur cells. It featured an F1-style kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), and the SUV will be at the cutting edge of powertrain technology when it’s launched. Reichmann and his team also made a point to highlight practical elements, like cabin and load space.

Palmer said the production model will carry much of the DNA previewed by the concept. He said: “There are aspects of the car that have changed dramatically — perhaps none more so than the fact that it is now a four-door — and, on a comparison basis, you will be able to pick out many details that have been modified. But in terms of the pure lines and the fundamental core principles of the car, you’ll recognise them.” Reichmann also suggested that the roofline will be much higher than the concept for improved practicality.

The DBX/Varekai will ride on a new bonded and riveted aluminium architecture that is closely related in principle to the DB11. There were speculations that Aston would turn to partner Mercedes-Benz for its chassis technology, but Palmer said Aston preferred to make use of its own expertise. He did however, say that some sub-systems and V8 engines will come from the tri-star, as will all of its next-generation models.

The DBX will be the first Aston Martion to be sold with four-wheel drive, but whether or not this is standard for all variants remains to be seen. The top model will get power from Aston’s own 5.2 litre twin-turbo V12, and it be retuned from the 600 hp/700 Nm unit found in the DB11. An AMG-sourced 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 that makes 503 hp and 675 Nm could be offered as well.

Further down the pipeline is an all-electric variant equipped with a proprietary powertrain that’s developed by Aston Martin with input from Williams Advanced Engineering. Palmer has ruled out diesel versions of the DBX, but confirmed that a hybrid version of the car will be developed. That said, it won’t be a plug-in hybrid because research suggests luxury car buyers do not consider the experience to be “premium” enough.

For the KERS system, the company could use a modified version of that which is fitted to the Valkyrie instead of turning to Mercedes. As for ride and handling, Palmer highlighted the characteristics of the Porsche Macan, and said “it is probably dynamically the best car in the SUV category.” How’s that for a benchmark?

The cabin, on the other hand, will be designed to focus heavily on practicality. “There are certain issues you can’t compromise on that perhaps we haven’t given such credence to in the past — ingress and egress, for starters, and whether it is a car you sit on or sit in,” said Palmer. “DBX is a revolution for Aston Martin in so many ways, and that has meant that we have had to adapt our way of thinking in places.

“We have one rule that never changes, which is that we don’t trade off beauty. But if you want the design to reflect its 4×4-ness and to deliver the sort of utility that customers expect from these cars, then you have find ways to achieve that. A 4×4 needs to be big, it needs to convey safety and security and yet it also needs to be easy to get in and out of.”

Aston Martin has also established focus groups to gain input, including one comprised of women. This was after knowing that just 3,500 of the firm’s lifetime sales of 70,000 cars were to women. The new SUV will be built at a dedicated facility in Wales. The word Varekai comes from the Romani language, meaning “wherever,” which seems fitting for an SUV. Fancy yourself an Aston Martin SUV, guys?

GALLERY: Aston Martin DBX concept