The Aston Martin DBX707 – touted as “the world’s most powerful SUV” – is now available in South Africa. We took a quick drive through the pre-production unit before it headed back to the UK.
“Please ignore the gaps in the panels, this is a pre-production unit and it will be back in the UK soon,” says the attendant of Aston Martin DBX707. We know things can get serious when a test unit arrives at our office accompanied by a handler!
This example of Gaydon’s 520kW/900Nm SUV has British plates because it’s temporarily based in the Republic. Aston Martin’s local importer, Daytona, was showing off the DBX707 to potential buyers as well as the automotive media.
We only had a few hours with this machine – the top DBX version (not the special version) – and we weren’t going to miss the chance to find out just how special it is.
The DBX707’s position is interesting but purposeful.
What is offered?
The DBX707 is a significantly upgraded version of Aston Martin’s first SUV. While the idea of traditional sports car brands bringing SUVs to the market may not satisfy purists, the reality is that for wealthy customers, the prestige of owning a supercar is not enough – they also want comfort and practicality, which is why even Ferrari will soon introduce an SUV.
Statistics show that the Urus is Lamborghini’s most popular model, the Bentayga has helped Bentley record excellent financial growth, and sales of the Cayenne and Macan are outselling Porsche’s sports car models. While Aston Martin is going through tough times, the brand is hoping that brisk sales of the DBX and its DBX707 sibling will help it right the ship.
23-inch Monster rims and green brake calipers are a sign of intent!
While the SUV offerings of most exotic brands admittedly can’t match the visual drama of their supercar and hypercar counterparts, the DBX is more than a sleek and bulky SUV… Its looks are deliberately bold; its grille resembles an open mouth, and the design of the tailgate is unusual and thought-provoking; this model looks more like a fastback than an SUV.
As I leaned out of the tracking car window to photograph the DBX707, I got a chance to hear that powerful 4.0-litre V8 biturbo petrol engine from outside. Even in its most tame driving mode, the Aston emits a delicious growl from its quad tailpipes, and when the driver lets off the throttle after a burst of acceleration, the turbos let out a laudatory whistle.
Created by AMG, but refined by Aston Martin.
Officially, it’s the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 found in many Mercedes-AMG products. In case you don’t know, Mercedes-Benz has been supplying Aston Martin with AMG powerplants (as part of a wider technical agreement) since 2013. However, the M177’s power output has been greatly improved in the DBX707 – Aston Martin has added larger ball-bearing turbochargers and retuned the ECU to deliver a staggering peak output of over 500kW and 900Nm.
AMG 9-speed automatic transmission paddle shifters in carbon fiber. They have excellent tactile action and feel.
A 9-speed wet-clutch automatic transmission (also from Mercedes-AMG) moves all that torque to all 4 wheels of the DBX707; in fact, Aston Martin says the SUV can send 100% of its torque to the rear axle when needed. Productivity? The 0-100km/h sprint is claimed in 3.3 seconds and the Aston has a top speed of 310km/h.
Make no mistake: this is not just a DBX with a more powerful engine – the whole package has been significantly improved. For example, a launch function was added, the aerodynamics (note the huge diffuser), braking and suspension were upgraded, while the gear ratio was shortened and the chassis dynamics were restored.
How is it to drive?
Eye-opening and outrageous pace is the order of the day at DBX707
After the photo session was over, it was time to drive the Aston. If you press the start button in the middle of the panel, the engine will start, but if you simultaneously pull one of the gearshift paddles, everyone in your area will know that you’ve started one powerful engine.
First up… the mandatory overclocking test. After engaging the DBX707’s sportiest drive mode, all you have to do to light up the launch control icon on Aston’s digital dashboard is put your left foot on the brake pedal and do the same with your right foot on the accelerator pedal. Then the bell rings: “Go when you’re ready.”
Well, I was never ready for this ballistic takeoff! With all four 23-inch tires providing traction, the DBX707 doesn’t hesitate for a split second; it launches off the line like lightning and heads sharply toward the horizon. That 3.3-second 0-100km/h claim seems pretty accurate, and the DBX707 is blindingly quick to tip the 2.2-tonne scales. The noise coming from the V8 engine is something else too.
Or does it all turn to jelly as the Aston Martin drives towards the corner at breakneck speeds? No, the DBX707 can weigh 2.2 tonnes, and yes, many other mighty SUVs feel imprecise and overwhelmed by their sheer mass when tasked with dynamic performance…
However, the DBX707 does a great job of hiding its weight – just imagine driving a high-speed hatchback. Of course, if you’re careless you’ll be reminded of the inevitable laws of physics, but that’s not something I wanted to explore in depth given the 5 million rand price tag of this car and the fact that Aston Martin won’t be pleased to hear that its test unit has been ruled out .
Ceramic brakes provide exceptional stopping power.
The secret to Aston Martin’s cornering talents lies in the intelligent active anti-roll bars that work non-stop, regardless of speed and your chosen driving mode. By keeping body roll under control, the vehicle can turn in a fairly flat, almost sports car-like stance.
With the Sports+ modes engaged and the manual gearshift engaged, the DBX707 proved remarkably responsive to the driver’s input, darting into (and out of) corners with almost effortless agility. Despite the giant (23-inch) wheels, the ride quality has even been improved, which we attribute to the revised chassis and 3-chamber air suspension.
At this price, one expects a high-end cabin, and the DBX707 delivers.
Depending on which driving mode you have chosen, the car can automatically raise and lower the height of the road surface. Braking power is immense thanks to monstrous ceramic discs, and the steering is as direct and weighted as you’d expect from an Aston Martin product.
With default GT mode engaged, the DBX707 is a stunningly capable open-road cruiser. Overtaking is effortless, with most of the 900Nm just flexing the right leg, but there is a bit of turbo lag, which is to be expected given the size of the fans.
The cabin of the DBX707 is spacious and luxurious. Four adults here with ease.
But can it “take care of family business” like any good SUV? Yes! Undoubtedly. There’s plenty of room in the back for two tall adults, and the cargo area easily holds two sets of golf clubs. Inside, with its generous swaths of leather and carbon fiber, it looks and smells premium. The front seats not only look great, but they also offer great support and are 16-way adjustable, as well as heated.
The list of standard features is extensive, but you can dip into the Q Collection (yes, the customization section is named after a character from the James Bond films) and specify things like the Halo package, which includes green brake calipers, striped seats and more. elements.
The infotainment system works, but you can’t deny that it’s from Mercedes-Benz.
Complaints? Well, the infotainment system is little more than a reworked Mercedes-Benz unit, but that’s not a deal breaker if you didn’t own a number of Stuttgart products prior to delivery. Then there is the pricing structure. Given that the standard DBX V8 costs 4.3 million rand, and the DBX707 costs “only” 500 thousand rand more, we can’t help but feel sorry for those who bought the base version. This is the one to get, hands down.
He is fast and drives exceptionally well. We think Aston Martin has achieved this with the DBX707.
How much is an Aston Martin DBX707 in South Africa?
|Aston Martin DBX V8||4,300,000 rubles|
|Aston Martin DBX707||4,800,000 rubles|
A look that most road users will see, complete with quad exhausts and rear diffuser
As far as speed dating goes, it was an exciting encounter with arguably one of the most fascinating super SUVs on sale. Rivals? Well, the duo from the Volkswagen Group (in the form of the Urus and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT) offer similar performance for slightly less money, and it would be rude to forget the most powerful Bentley Bentayga – the Speed.
However, the biggest advantage of Aston Martin is that it is Aston Martin. There is something attractive and very stylish about the quintessentially British brand, and the DBX707 is a great product that delivers a superb driving experience and rich in-car luxury. If it takes a performance SUV to keep Aston Martin afloat, then we’re all for it.