Gentlemen once designed racing machines in order to vie for the coveted title of fastest car on the planet. Today, the most hotly-contested battle among luxury marques is to build the quickest SUV. The Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT were the main title contenders. As of summer 2022, there’s a new manufacturer in the mix. Aston Martin.
In truth, the Aston Martin DBX707 takes the competition to a new level, with a substantial boost in power compared to the standard car, performance improvements and uprated handling to boot. Prices start at an eye-watering £190,000, but at this end of the SUV spectrum, price has become by the by.
Loaded with a 4.0-litre V8, the Aston offers explosive thrills. The twin turbo engine produces 697 bhp or 707 metric horsepower, hence the name. It slingshots from 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds, with the potential to embarrass a Ferrari, and then just keeps going and going. The car won’t run out of steam until it hits 193mph – and does so in around three seconds faster than the madcap Lamborghini Urus.
The 707 was launched in Sardinia in spring, where a six-hour driving route around the island proved that the hottest DBX money can buy has genuine sporting credentials. The new Aston boasts all-wheel grip both on and off-road, five driving modes, a slick nine-speed gearbox and a huge amount of torque for rapid overtaking. Most of the upgrades are under the skin – stiffer steering, carbon-ceramic brakes – but the 707 also sports a quad exhaust system, wider 23-inch alloy wheels and some subtle changes to the stylish body design that don’t spoil the DBX’s existing good looks.
It is, however, a raft of upgrades to the chassis and suspension which give the 707 the edge when pushed to the limit. It retains the same air suspension system as the standard DBX but is treated to a dedicated chassis tune. Among the drive modes, ‘Race Start’ is now available in GT Sport and Sport+ settings for the first time – offering maximum thrills from a standing start.
The new 707 isn’t just a high-performance version of the DBX – it’s a major reworking of what was already a rapid machine. Underneath that vented bonnet is the same AMG-sourced V8 as the standard car but with larger turbos, helping to increase performance by an extra 155 bhp.
Speaking to Luxury London in Sardinia, Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers said: “Right from its introduction, the DBX showed our dynamic and design values in a way that proves not all SUVs have to conform to the same compromises. With the 707, we’ve pushed the boundaries in every area to create a car which sets new standards of performance and desirability. The fastest, most powerful, best handling and most engaging car of its kind, it propels us to the pinnacle of SUV performance.”
Hurtling through the Italian hills, the 707 calls on all manner of technology to keep wheels on tarmac. This isn’t a low-slung Vantage, remember – considering the DBX’s raised profile, the Aston gives the driver an astounding level of high-speed control.
Before switching the drive mode selector to Sport, the 707 is more than quick enough. In fact, it’s spectacularly fast in every mode and should give any ‘enthusiastic’ driver all the power they need.
Apart from the quirky lip spoiler at the rear, the DBX just about edges the more angular Lamborghini Urus in the style stakes. The key differences over the standard DBX include an even larger front grill, double-stacked slats in the bonnet, as well as a lower and longer front splitter. The side skirts are also closer to the ground, while satin chrome trim features around the windows as part of the ‘Jewellery’ pack.
Aston has fitted the 707 with soft-close doors, a new centre console and the obligatory active exhaust button – although it’s still not as raucous as the Urus. Annoyingly, at this level, the infotainment system isn’t touchscreen and I found those standard sports seats lack support during harsh cornering.
As you might expect, Aston Martin provides all manner of ‘must have’ accessories to push the final price towards £230,000. Among them are lime-coloured brake calipers, carbon fibre interior trim and an extensive palette of paint choices. The fancy umbrella is, at least, standard. The 707 is also immensely practical, with five seats and a large boot. A ‘standard’ DBX, with 542 bhp, is no slouch. But the new 707, with 900 Nm of torque, is a supercar in disguise – a quite astounding proposition.
You may wonder why the world needs a car like this when the combustion engine is already in its death throes. Sit behind the wheel of the DBX707 for an hour, though, and it’s difficult to imagine how an electric car could ever offer such a visceral driving experience.
0-60 mph: 3.1 secondsTop speed: 193 mphEngine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8Metric horsepower: 707 ps (697 bhp)Maximum torque: 900 NmPrice: from £190,000, astonmartin.com
When it comes to straight-line speed, the Aston Martin DBX707 comes out on top. But how does the new Britsh super-SUV compare to its rivals in terms of style, drive and personality?
Bentley Bentayga S
The ‘S’ is now the fastest model in the Bentayga range after the demise of the 12-cylinder Speed model in the UK. A 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 produces 542 bhp and hauls the Bentley to 60mph in 4.4 seconds. The DBX707 feels quicker and nimbler, but the Bentayga interior is a class apart.
From £182,300, bentleymotors.com
Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT
Porsche’s new super-SUV really lives up to expectations – as thrilling as a 911 to drive but capable of carrying the kids, too. Again, a 4.0-litre V8 provides 631 bhp of power, pushing the GT from 0-60mph in just 3.1 seconds – with a slightly lower top speed than the DBX707. The Cayenne is the most composed car to drive, a triumph of German engineering.
From £144,000, porsche.com
The Urus is the DBX’s naughty Italian cousin. Both cars are stylish and characterful but the Lambo is just that little bit more nuts. From the crazy interior to the outrageous exhaust note, the Urus throws convention out of the window. The 4.0-litre V8 records 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds and a top speed just shy of 190mph.
From £175,000, lamborghini.com