The furious pace at which SUVs and pickups continue to grow in popularity (the two categories accounted for 68% of Canadian sales last year) pretty much ensured that sooner later even exotic carmakers would get in on this highly lucrative action.
Of course this would require breaking with traditions dating back decades and even, in some cases, centuries. But once one manufacturer took the leap, it was clear that others would certainly follow.
Today, Bentley has its SUV, as do Lamborghini and Maserati. Models are in the works for Rolls-Royce and Ferrari as well. As for British automaker Aston Martin, we know that since 2015 it has been working on its own first SUV model. In Geneva that year it unveiled a brand-new concept vehicle, the DBX.
Three years on, reports have it that the company has settled on a name for its new utility model: Varekai. The news was first reported by British site Autocar, which revealed that Aston Martin had had submitted documents required to register the name. The company has yet to confirm the news, however. For its part, online magazine Autoblog pointed out that the word “varekai”, borrowed from the Romanian language, translates as “wherever” – a fully appropriate description for a sport utility vehicle. Of course, in reality we shouldn’t expect to see too many of these sleek, high-performance SUVs venture too far off the road.
Another clue that the name is likely intended for the new SUV: it would tie in nicely with all those other Aston Martin models with names beginning with ‘V’, such as Vanquish, Vantage and Valkyrie.
The concept vehicle from Aston Martin has until now gone under the name DBX, an appellation that certainly resonated with fans of the brand. But the fact of going with a name rather than a series of letters will make for a more natural association with its potential rivals, which also carry well-defined names: Bentayga (Bentley), Levante (Maserati), Cullinan (Rolls-Royce) and Urus (Lamborghini).
Names aside, what is likely to matter much more to potential owners when the Varekai hits the market, will be the performance of its 5.2L V12 engine (600 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque). Also used in the DB11, this engine bloc will be the most powerful offered with the new model. Consumers will also have the option of a Mercedes-AMG twin-turbo V8 (502 hp and 498 lb-ft of torque) as well as a hybrid version. The latter version is not expected to be made available until after the other two.