Peter Frost samples Aston Martin’s hottest DBX, the 707 in the wettest of Cape Town weather. Supercar, SUV – the blown petrol engine isn’t dead just yet.
As a reminder, DBX is Aston Martin’s sports SUV, mortal enemy of the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga W12 and Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Late to the party, it launched in 2020 to excellent reviews, praise offered for a class chassis, creative interior, decent Mercedes-Benz-derived AMG V8 biturbo and lovely road manners. But it lacked a certain carnal ferocity, something Aston’s man-of-the-moment, Tobias Moers quickly set the white coats to remedying. Exhibit A – the 707, named after the frankly astonishing 707 metric horses (520 kW) the back-room boys managed to squeeze out of Affalterbach’s ‘hot inside’ AMG V8 biturbo. That’s 160 hp (115 kW) more than the conventional engine. The trick was to employ massively bigger turbos, largely responsible for the 707’s EV-busting 3,3 second 0-100 km/h time.
So to it. In the metal, brilliant white in the Cape deluge, the 2,2-tonne SUV is Savile Row tailored, subtle even, if you compare it to, say, the pterodactyl-like Urus. Marek Reichman’s bonded aluminium, hybrid composite design is a class act, menacing only with a small ‘m’, more Ali than Tyson. And yes, those trademark Aston swan-hinged doors are still there. The only signs of evil intent are in the details; a bigger grille hiding the larger radiator; monstrous Brembo clappers behind the equally imposing 23-inchers; louvred bonnet blades; gloss black side sills; four (real) exhaust pipes; that hardcore double ledge diffuser out back.
Climb aboard. Plush. The standard DBX infotainment is still there, which is disappointing. Seats are beautiful and supportive, heavily bolstered, comfy. It’s huge in there, entirely unsportscar-like. Press the dash-mounted starter, pull back the paddle shifter (to unlock the aural exhaust note), listen for that Aston Baroque bark.
Immediately it’s obvious that there’s plenty on tap, though the feather prod immediacy of, again, the Urus is absent. In standard GT drive mode 707 tends to spool up, pause, then deliver. But deliver it does. In truckloads. Even on the soaked, congested streets of Green Point it’s obvious that fast has a new definition. That superb chassis and steering keep things true and at these speeds at least, there’s no hint of roll. The closer ratios ensure there’s always urgency in progress. Drop a couple of gears, feel the aids fight for traction in the rain and win. Wonderful control. The muscularity of the delivery is magnificent. The soundtrack is intoxicating, as you’d expect in an Aston. Rain pelting down, I longed to disappear down an empty Karoo road and up a Cederberg pass, but tragically, it was Green Point in the storm or nothing. Worst luck – suburbia is neither ready for, nor willing to play witness to the hot 707’s baser instincts.
Back at Daytona there’s just time to check the practicalities – low lip 632-litre square boot, class-leading rear head and legroom, sensible 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats. There’s even the option of a Pet Package, so very Home Counties. Boxes ticked, heart rate raised and a quick look back. It’d look mighty smart in the driveway, which, let’s face it, is uppermost in many Saffer minds. That it does everything else with such aplomb is a happy bonus. Watch this space – we’ll meet again.
Model: Aston Martin DBX707
Price: R4 800 000
Engine: front mounted, twin-turbocharged, 4 000cc, V8
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Power: 520 kW @ 6 000rpm
Torque: 900 N.m @ 2 600 – 4 500rpm
Driven wheels: AWD
0-100kph: 3,3 seconds
Top speed: 310 km/h
Fuel consumption: 14,2 l/100km (claimed, combined)
CO2 emissions: 323 g/km
Fuel tank: 85 litres
Range: 598 km
Rivals: Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, Bentley Bentayga W12, Land Rover Range Rover SVR.
Words: Peter Frost
Original Article: [https://www.carmag.co.za/all-news/driven-aston-martin-dbx-707/]