Driving the New Aston Martin DBX707 in Sardinia

The battle among luxury marques to build the fastest sports utility vehicle shows no sign of abating. Now contenders such as the Bentley Bentayga S, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT have another rival – from Aston Martin.

A power boost and chassis upgrades give the DBX707 a top speed and spring advantage over the Lamborghini Urus, raising the bar from 190mph to 193mph, while cutting the 0-60mph time too. And irrelevant as that is in the real world, it does allow the British marque to claim the bragging rights.

The new 707 isn’t just a high-performance version of the DBX but a major reworking of what was already a rapid machine.  Underneath the vented bonnet is the same, 4.0-litre engine as the standard car but with larger twin turbos, to beef up the V8 by 155bhp. The result is simply explosive performance.

Peak power is increased to 697 bhp or 707 PS – hence the name – and ensures this particular DBX is capable of embarrassing almost any supercar. The SUV slingshots from 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds and then carries on to its record-breaking max.

On a six-hour drive around Sardinia, a film location for 007 movie The Spy Who Loved Me, the 707 proved the perfect motor for a high-speed, all-terrain  getaway. All-wheel drive grip both on and off-road, five driving modes, a slick nine-speed gearbox and huge amounts of torque for rapid overtaking on mountainous backroads.

Most of the upgrades are under the skin – revised suspension, stiffer steering, carbon ceramic brakes – but the Aston also sports a quad exhaust system, wider 23-inch alloy wheels and some gentle tweaks to the sleek body design that don’t detract from the DBX’s gloriously elegant lines.

Key differences 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.

Apart from the quirky ‘duck’s *rse’ lip spoiler at the rear, the DBX just about edges the more angular Urus in the fashion stakes. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Urus sales might suggest otherwise.

Aston has fitted the 707 with soft-close doors, a new centre console and the obligatory active exhaust button – it’s still not as raucous as the bonkers Urus though. The infotainment system isn’t touchscreen and the standard sports seats lack support in harsh cornering.

The DBX707 is immensely practical, with five seats, largish boot and a more rugged format than the rest of the Aston Martin range. A ‘standard’ DBX with 542bhp is no slouch but the 900Nm 707 is a supercar in disguise – a quite astounding proposition if you are always late on the school run.

DBX707 deliveries should start in the summer. Prices start at £190,000 but there’s an extensive options list and personalisation programme to soak up any spare change.