The new DBX 707’s place in the world might seem obvious: a faster, brawnier version of the find-handling Aston Martin DBX intended to put some clear water between it and rivals in this ultra-competitive segment.
But it has another role, one that causes Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers to acquire a predatory grin: proving itself the fastest production SUV in the world.
The proof of that will doubtless come at the Nürburgring, where Aston Martin is planning to use the 707 to break the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT’s 7min 39sec lap record for an SUV. And that’s break as in smash.
But while that's the target, the revisions haven’t been allowed to compromise the DBX’s gentlemanly appeal. When Moers talks about the changes, he spends far longer talking about the new chassis settings than the revisions that have delivered the headline power figure (for the record: new ball-bearing turbos and a heavily revised induction system; the bottom end is unaltered.) While the front suspension has been stiffened to improve steering response, the rear dampers have been softened to improve traction.
Having demonstrated that it's also capable of some lurid drift angles, Moers leaves me to experience the car for myself.
Yes, the DBX 707 is both savagely loud and ludicrously fast when unleashed, launching hard and with the short gearing of the new nine-speed wet-clutch automatic gearbox making it hard to keep up with the engine’s ravenous demand for new ratios when under manual control. It’s the first time I’ve found myself wanting a brighter and more insistent change-up display in an SUV.
But slowing for and getting around the first corner proves the rest of the DBX 707 feels correspondingly upgraded, too, with the huge carbon-ceramic brakes for the thermal loadings of turning so much kinetic energy into heat and the massive 23in P-Zero tyres finding huge grip.