No wonder the world’s most powerful luxury SUV is a fast car.
The monstrous V8 under the shapely hood of Aston Martin’s DBX 707 is twin-turbocharged by Mercedes-AMG with 520 kW and 900 Nm, enough to reach 100 km/h in just 3.3 seconds.
As expected, it has a wild muscle car soundtrack that resembles its German technical partner’s heavy hitters.
The big SUV rears and squeezes your chest under full-throttle acceleration, making the most of the four-wheel drive traction and enormous Pirelli rubber.
An AMG-sourced nine-speed gearbox snaps through gear changes with a pop of four tailpipes when you tug at its huge carbon-fiber shift paddles, and the 4.0-liter V8 leaves you in no doubt that it’s capable of the 300-km/h h-threshold if given the chance.
That’s to be expected. A tremendously powerful engine tends to deliver tremendously impressive thrust.
But the big Aston has a few surprises up its immaculately tailored sleeves.
Gigantic carbon-ceramic brake discs wash away speed as effortlessly as the engine delivers it, slamming you against the seatbelt when it gets whoa.
Better still, these brakes offer precise response and easily controllable modulation that encourages you to push deeper into the apex of your favorite corners.
Do this, and the car’s air suspension, active anti-roll bars and clever all-wheel drive combine to give the fine impression of a polished sports sedan.
This is a heavy car that shouldn’t be expected to drive like a two-seat convertible.
But it’s immensely capable in the corners, using the raw power of huge tires and the torque of the tarmac to wreak its will on the road surface.
Body roll is minimal and the meaty steering has few equals in the world of ramping SUVs.
It’s genuinely fun to drive, aided by a sporty transmission that uses a wet clutch pack rather than a soft-edged torque converter to enable quick downshifts, accompanied by a triumphant flare and crackle from the exhaust.
The DBX 707 gets full marks on a Sunday morning, but is a little less impressive in everyday running.
Huge 23-inch wheels with low-profile tires pound hard over bumpy roads where the firm suspension that provides such impressive body control can feel a little harsh.
Although Aston has the best that Benz can offer under the hood, its Mercedes-sourced infotainment system is a few years old. The display isn’t touchscreen, which is frustrating, especially when using Apple CarPlay.
Dated push-button transmission controls and a starter button placed high in the center of the dash also call for pronounced reach at the start and end of each drive.
It’s not cheap at $428,400 plus road costs (about $500,000 in travel expenses), and that’s before you factor in the $100,000 or so in optional extras attached to our Plasma Blue example.
But there’s no doubt that the DBX is a special car to drive every day. It looks and sounds great, and the materials used throughout the decadent interior are better than mainstream alternatives like Porsche or BMW.
FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
The DBX 707 is a sharper, faster version of the regular luxury SUV DBX. He benefits from the experience he gained in action in the Formula 1 World Championship, where Aston Martin uses medical and safety cars. Australian racer Karl Reindler drives the DBX at full throttle behind the field on the opening lap, carrying veteran medic Dr. Ian Roberts and life saving equipment. Reindler sped to the scene of a serious collision at the British Grand Prix that year and used the Aston’s thrust to get to Zhou Guanyu’s upside-down Alfa Romeo as quickly as possible. Expect Aston to switch to the 707 on the Grand Prix scene next year, further reducing response times.
Attractive, exotic and unforgettable to drive, the Aston Martin DBX offers almost everything you could hope for in a super SUV.
ASTON MARTIN DBX707
PRICE Drive away about $500,000.
ENGINE 4.0 liter biturbo V8, 520 kW and 900 Nm
WARRANTIES 3 years/unlimited kilometers, no price limit
SAFETY Six airbags, automatic emergency braking, active cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert
CHARGE 637 liters
SPARE PART repair set
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