TEST – The Aston Martin DBX707 (2022) made us sweat on the Blister Berg

TEST – The Aston Martin DBX707 (2022) made us sweat on the Blister Berg

What happens when you put the most powerful SUV in the world on a circuit known for its terrifying turns? It’s not the Aston Martin DBX707 that cracks first.

The most powerful in the world, yes. We know that this title previously went to the 717 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, but it no longer exists in the American manufacturer’s catalog. The new 707 version of the Aston Martin DBX thus beats all its current competitors in terms of pure power, from the Lamborghini Urus (650 horsepower) to the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid (680 horsepower) to the Bentley. Bentayga Speed ​​(635 horsepower). Fed by turbochargers different from the normal DBX of 550 horsepower, the V8 of this new version develops as its name suggests 707 horsepower for 900 Nm of torque. Very impressive figures for a block of four liters of displacement (with AMG origins), equivalent to those of the big 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 from Aston Martin found under the hood of the DBS Superleggera (725 horsepower and 900 Nm). It makes you wonder why the builder from Gaydon bothered to make its own twelve-cylinder!


On the right, the normal DBX (550 horsepower). On the left, the DBX707

Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.

It is possible to know the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle thanks to the auto Turbo rating of your Aston Martin DBX, the alternative to the Argus rating.

As usual with an extreme version of this kind of model, the exterior presentation evolves even if the differences really jump to the eyes only if you place the DBX707 next to the normal DBX: the grille becomes gigantic, the rear diffuser grows by equipping itself with larger exhaust outlets and the shields hide more generous gills. The cabin doesn’t change much either. We find a dashboard with a somewhat intriguing design (with a non-touch screen with old-fashioned ergonomics) and an interior with a magnificent finish (at Aston Martin, we know how to do beautiful leather). There is also this large trunk and these rear seats whose habitability impresses, even for a large luxury SUV. It almost feels like a Range Rover…


The big difference compared to the normal DBX is at the bottom of the central console: it is the wheel allowing to choose the modes of piloting

It begins badly

This presentation takes place on the German circuit of Blister Berg, a course with spectacular relief often nicknamed “the little Nordschleife”, full of blind turns and other very technical curves which require courage and a lot of confidence. The ideal, in short, to test a new vehicle with very high sporting claims. We will have to follow a lead car for the occasion, a DBS Superleggera driven by an instructor who is none other than Sebastian Vettel’s brother. What give us the certainty of to be able to really identify the capabilities of the car when we start our DBX707, then we place the selector knob (at the bottom of the center console) in Sport + mode. The V8 rumbles at start-up and remains present in the cabin once this Sport+ mode is activated. But the experience turns to disaster: we find ourselves in a group of five DBX707 and in the other cars there are mainly foreign journalists whose slowness obliges the leading car to print a senator’s train. The opportunity to put the Comfort mode back and see that this big SUV does not sacrifice anything at this level. The automatic transmission, like the damping, then shows excellent softness and we no longer hear the V8 at all in the cabin, while we peacefully follow the other cars.

Aston Martin DBX707, at the service of omnipotence – TURBO test of 04/17/2022


It can’t be seen in the picture, but we’re driving really slowly at this moment

Negotiations

A colleague from the French sports press fumes even more than us. How to seriously gauge the dynamic efficiency of such a car without being able to really attack on the circuit? At the end of the driving sessions, we ask the people of the organization to go back to driving without the other journalists, just with Fabian Vettel and his sublime DBS Superleggera. Here we go again just the three of us. Sport + mode activated, ESP disconnected, we will really see what this heavy beast of 2,245 kg empty has in the belly. This time, we skim all the reports of the nine-speed automatic transmission, extrapolated from that of the Mercedes-AMG E63S (like the rest of the transmission deeply reworked by Aston Martin). In manual mode, it shows satisfactory responsiveness. On this kind of large SUV where the high torque and towing capacity prevent manufacturers from installing dual-clutch transmissions as good as those of real sports cars, the DBX707 box seems to us at least as efficient as the ZF of a Porsche Cayenne or an Audi RS Q8. The V8 rumbles through the cabin without going as far into sonic exuberance as the old Range Rover Sport SVR. As for the thrust (0 to 100 km/h announced in 3.3 seconds), it seems at the level promised, which will undoubtedly allow you to follow a BMW M5 or an Audi RS 6 without problem on the left lane of the German motorways ( note that the DBX707 also claims the title of fastest SUV in the world with its maximum speed of 310 km/h).


The Blister Berg, an extremely technical and hilly circuit nicknamed “the little Nordschleife”

Perdition

The colleague driving in front of me, whom I have known for fifteen years, literally sticks to the bumper of Vettel’s DBS with his SUV and forces the latter to increase the pace even further. And it is precisely this moment that reveals the differences between a good pilot – this cumbersome colleague who has the same first name as Patrick Bruel as well as the same name as José Garcia – and me. While he still seems slowed down by the pretty sports car in front of him, I start to lose the rhythm. The DBX707 has nothing to do with it : despite a slightly soft pedal attack, the large carbon-ceramic brakes (420 mm discs at the front, like those of a Bugatti Chiron) stop the machine without incident lap after lap. Flexible on its supports, it keeps rolling which does not prevent it from demonstrating impeccable stability on this very steep German toboggan. Despite the mass and the problematic center of gravity of this kind of luxurious pachyderm, the front axle cuts a good figure and when the understeer finally occurs, the Aston does not disunite. Responsive to lifting the foot, the big English also takes advantage of its transmission which can send up to 100% of the torque to the rear axle. It lets you glide out of corners but only to a certain extent on our pre-production test models. In this regard, the Aston Martin people on site have assured us that the final copies will allow you to take turns through the doors while making a lot of smoke. If you can.


That’s it, the others have spun in front…

Because me, right now, I’m already well outside my comfort zone trying to stay in contact with the other two cars. I miss ropes and downshifts, I brake too soon and my brain consistently refuses to let my foot on the accelerator over those dizzying bumps in blind corners with a gigantic overhang. In any case, the SUV shows imperial traction despite the many load shedding of the circuit. Fortunately, because here the slightest pilot error could have serious consequences with more advanced cars. After a few turns, the DBS and the other DBX707 are already out of reach. My wet back sticks against the leather of the seat and a smell of perspiration begins to invade the cabin when I finally attack the cooling tower. Humiliated once again by this colleague who never ceases to harm my self-esteem, I at least have the satisfaction of having been able to experience what a DBX707 is worth on the circuit. And even, despite the burlesque side of finding yourself with such a heavy SUV on the circuit, to discover good driving sensations on one of the most difficult circuits on the planet. Does it do better than its competitors? In my memory, the Porsche Cayenne, more firmly held and strong with less light steering, seemed less fun and no more efficient. There is clearly a match to be played between this DBX707, the Lamborghini Urus and the Cayenne GT. At €240,504 a piece, it also costs a little more than the latter, but given the shape of the machine and its degree of comfort, there really is everything to make the DBX707 the new cash machine from Aston Martin. That’s good, the manufacturer really needs it right now. And I’m going to take a shower after taking on the terrifying Blister Berg.