The Good Oil: where did all of those kooky SUV-coupes come from?

David Linklater
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Photos / Supplied

Photos / Supplied

Even in this age of crossing over every automotive genre, SUV-coupes still seem pretty weird. But where did this idiosyncratic idea originate?

You could easily point the finger at the Suzuki X-90, that two-door T-top booted, um, thingy from 1995-97. But while it was technically an SUV-coupe, the design was a cul-de-sac rather than a road towards the future.

Here’s one you might not have thought of: the SsangYong Actyon from 2005, which put a rather extreme coupe roofline into an SUV package.

Fun fact: this model was the base for the SsangYong Actyon Sports ute.

But as you can probably tell we’re just riffing, because the proper answer isn’t as interesting.

The BMW X6 launched in 2008 was the real catalyst for all this modern SUV-coupe stuff.

It surprised everybody by selling strongly (more than 250,000 examples of the first generation) and has inspired Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche to create similar models.

So thank you BMW; or thanks for nothing, depending on your point of view.

We’ve been expecting you for a while, Mr Bond

The Good Oil is thoroughly sick of waiting for the new James Bond movie, No Time To Die, which should have been out ages ago but has been pushed back to November in response to Covid-19.

So too is Aston Martin apparently, which has gone ahead and released its two NTTD special edition models anyway. Both have been created by the company’s bespoke service, Q by Aston Martin. Yes, that’s really what it’s called.

The first is the Vantage 007 Edition, which is an homage to the original Aston Martin V8 that featured in The Living Daylights (1987). That car also makes an appearance in NTTD, when Bond retrieves it from his London lockup.

The Vantage 007 Edition (100 to be built) has a plethora of special styling elements, including a retro grille and yellow diffuser that references the rockets fitted to the film car.

The car can even be delivered with bespoke ski racks and skis, inspired by the iconic “winterised” V8 specification in the movie.

It also comes with “96.60” embroidering in the sun visors (the Russian police radio frequency Bond used to aid his escape in The Living Daylights) and cello “f holes” in the seatbacks. If you need that explained you obviously haven’t seen the movie.

Aston is also producing 25 special DBS Superleggera models, with special colour/trim and “007” badging.

It looks like Aston licence-to-overkill in the new film, with four different models featured: the classic DB5, the ’87 V8, the DBS Superleggera and the new Valhalla mid-engined hypercar.


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