There's a new contender in the world of ultra-high-performance SUVs. We clarify this as ultra-high performance because the standard-issue Aston Martin DBX with 542 horsepower isn't a slouch by any means. But we aren't talking about the standard model – this is the DBX707 and if you're wondering where that number comes from, just look under the hood.
That's where you'll find a familiar 4.0-liter V8 engine, but it's massaged to generate no less than 697 horsepower (707 metric horsepower, hence the 707 designation) and 663 pound-feet (900 Newton-meters) of torque. To make that happen, Aston Martin fitted a new pair of ball-bearing turbochargers along with a new engine calibration to make the most of the added boost. More air coming in requires better piping to get it out, so the DBX707 gains a completely new quad-exit active exhaust system that flows better while also giving occupants some delectable V8 noise when so desired.
Having power means nothing if you can't use it, and to Aston Martin's credit, considerable work was done to DBX707's drivetrain. For starters, there's a new nine-speed wet-clutch gearbox with automatic and manual modes that allows for quicker shifts. An updated version of the rear e-diff is stronger, and it boasts a shorter 3:27 final drive for better acceleration. The all-wheel-drive system is still an automatic affair, sending power front or rear wherever it's needed most, but calibration of the e-diff aids in cornering.
Gallery: Aston Martin DBX707
The chassis has additional reinforcement, and the air suspension gets revised dampers and springs for less body roll. That works in conjunction with updates to the Electronic Active Roll Control (eARC) system to further button down wayward DBX movements. An updated electronic steering system adds weight to the steering wheel, and when it's time to stop, carbon-ceramic disc brakes measuring 16.5 inches in front and 15.4 inches at back are clamped by six-piston calipers. They sit behind standard-issue 22-inch wheels, with 23-inchers optional.
Speaking to reporters, Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers reckoned the DBX707 is the only performance SUV that can do a proper high-rev launch. With "Race Start" mode shoving the SUV forward from 4,000 RPM, 60 mph arrives in 3.1 seconds. Keep the throttle pinned and the DBX707 will reach 193 mph. That's enough to outrun all its luxury competitors, but the SUV still retains all its luxury touches. Sport seats with dark chrome trim are standard, but comfort seats with traditional brighter chrome or carbon fiber finishes are optional. The lower console is specific to the DBX707, as it features manual controls for various drive and exhaust modes.
Gallery: Aston Martin DBX707 Studio Photos
Aston Martin DBX707 Studio Photos: Jakob Ebrey
Outside, the muscular SUV gains an aggressive front fascia with a large grille, new air intakes, redesigned daytime running lights, and a mean front splitter. An upgraded rear fascia makes room for the quad exhaust finishers down low, not to mention a larger diffuser. It's impossible to miss the lip spoiler up high, and you'll find an abundance of dark chrome and satin trim on the outside for a monochromatic effect. And as a final reminder that the DBX707 is still a luxury machine, Aston Martin adds soft-close doors.
As you'd expect, power and prestige at this level don't come without a cost. Prices for the DBX707 start at $232,000 and that doesn't include destination fees. Aston Martin says production begins in the first quarter of 2022, with initial customer deliveries following in the second quarter.