High Performance Shooting: discover the new Aston Martin DBX707
From city streets to off-road pursuits, we put the Aston Martin DBX707 through its paces in our exclusive country game shoot
Having arrived in London fresh off a long-haul flight, I was presented with keys to the latest variant of Aston Martin’s DBX line – the 707 – ahead of a long drive back to the country on a dark, damp Friday night.
Frustratingly, when I first saw the DBX707, the interior lights had been set to off, which meant on entering in the dark, I couldn’t adequately see the myriad buttons and controls decorating the dashboard. However, in the gloom of the evening I did see the familiar Aston Martin gearbox controls lining the top of the dashboard, these recognisable features going back to the early Vanquish. I contented myself with turning everything I could off and just focusing on the long drive ahead of me, in what I was told would be a very interesting machine. Having done very little research on the car prior to my drive, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect beyond having seen a couple of early examples on the road. Could this four-wheel drive Aston Martin really be capable of fulfilling all the needs of a sporting SUV on and off road?
On starting the car there was an interesting rumble from what sounded like a nicely tuned V8. Pulling away, I was immediately hit by the torque at low revs – the power curve was just amazing. I wondered what could be under the bonnet to give such low-down torque and, having found and turned off the exhaust moderator button, the full harmonics came to life in a beautifully thrilling cacophony of power in motion. Surely, I thought, this must be a massive V8 – five to six litres at least? Wrong. The 707 is in fact a 4ltr twin turbo engine, generating 707PS (697bhp) and delivering a massive 900Nm of torque.
The power generated by this engine – combined with its versatility and efficiency – was astounding, and I found myself short-shifting through the gears, relying on the endless torque for smooth acceleration in traffic as I navigated my way out of town.
On the open road, pulling through the gears the DBX707 had its next surprise in store for me in the form of a nine-speed gearbox that, combined with the superb engine, delivers a 0-62mph time of 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 193mph.
Seen in the light of the following day, the true splendour of the DBX707 was on full display. The ‘Satin Titanium Grey’ paint scheme seemed iridescent in the sunlight and the subtle, almost-olive-grey colour set off the aggressive lines of the 707 beautifully. The styling was purposeful and certainly eye catching. Indeed, the Aston Martin’s credentials, combined with the evocative burble of the hard-hitting V8, certainly drew attention in the urban environment – but how would it fair in the countryside?
To test the DBX707’s claim of true SUV status, I resolved to put it through its paces at a classic English end-of-season shoot, loading it up with guns, gun slips, cartridges, cartridge bags, gun dogs, wellies and warm gear – all essential requirements for any credible SUV to swallow up in its stride. How would the DBX707 cope with off-road driving? And was it truly the all-rounder that Aston Martin hoped it would be, bridging the gap between high-performance luxury and usability at the very top end of this rapidly growing SUV market – now the stomping ground of all luxury sports car manufacturers?
The DBX707 coped brilliantly with undulating country roads. The ride was perfect and the seating position much easier than any low-slung sports car. The 707’s road-holding was exceptional and the suspension beautifully tuned, taking corners at speed confidently and comfortably. This near-perfect balance is largely due to the wonderfully engineered, honeycomb aluminium chassis and subframes, evidenced under the bonnet, combined with the low centre of gravity that the ultra-light 4ltr V8 engine, gearbox and four-wheel drive power train deliver.
The blistering performance and beautifully predictable behaviour of the 707 makes it a pleasure to drive at speed, and it is this drivability that makes it so fast on the road in real terms, rather than purely in the statistics. Part of the confidence to push the 707 so hard comes from the carbon ceramic brakes, which crush the car into the ground on heavy breaking with not a hint of step out or the back coming round on you. Commendations must go to the technical team at Aston Martin for the design, tuning, and set up of this truly incredible car.
Off-road, I expected the DBX707 to slip and slide around, given the wide wheels and road tuned tyres. This is, in my experience, where most high-performance SUVs fall down. Not the 707. The car was comfortable over ruts and had good balance even when driven up and along steep inclines. A slight concern was the safety of thousands-of-pounds-worth of carbon fibre aerodynamic finials on the front and rear of the car over the uneven ground – but the designers had anticipated this and provided for the clearances needed, so all remained well for sensible, light off-road use. The comfort and performance across a field at pace was equally impressive and, for a mid-sized SUV, the boot is more than adequate for all manner of shooting accessories – including a posse of gun dogs, all happily oblivious to the luxury and performance they were experiencing.
Summing up the Aston Martin DBX707, I can say that it is, without doubt, one of the best all-rounders I have driven. It has all the ability and versatility a lady or gentleman needs in pursuit of their sporting interests and, for those looking for a car that sits at the pinnacle of performance, luxury and usability – presented by one of the most famous, iconic and desirable British brands – the Aston Martin DBX707 is without doubt a serious contender for the best all-round SUV on the planet.