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Castrol Power 1

Avoid staying around those big vehicles.

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xBhp was born more than 16 years ago and since then we've had a chance to ride or drive hundreds of machines running on two wheels or four wheels, and sometimes even three wheels. We are not done yet, and this list is still growing. In these pages, we take a deep dive in the treasure trove of our ride experiences and bring you all that we have ridden or driven.

The X Factor Times 707

3,982 (V8)CC 697BHP 900NM

Stage One: India

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. It is true as well for the most part. Air conditioners to tackle the heat. Heaters to tackle the cold. AI to tackle a lazy workforce. I digress. Can the same reasoning be applied to the birth of what people call Super-SUVs nowadays? That depends on whether we need this breed of cars. Regardless, you won’t see me complaining about it when it gives me a chance to drive something like the Aston Martin DBX 707. 

What are Super SUVs though? And is it a true class of cars? One can just as easily call these abominations Practical Supercars. Or anything else with a better ring to it. I believe that cars like these are quite close to motorcycles like the Rocket or the Diavel. We have thrown a bunch of words together to define their class or category but in reality, we don’t know what they are and we love them for it. 

Coming back to the Aston Martin DBX 707, I am on a pilgrimage of sorts. Travelling to different countries and trying my hands on all kinds of vehicles. All kinds. You’ll know. My time with Aston Martin DBX 707 has been sort of divided though. I drove it in India. And when I did not get enough of it, I drove it in Japan too. xBhp PowerTour 2023 is fun that way, isn’t it? Anyway, let us get back to the car itself.

The Engine
The engine that powers the Aston Martin DBX 707 comes from AMG but Aston Martin has played around with it extensively before putting it in the DBX. The unit is an all-alloy, quad-overhead cam, 90-degree V8 that displaces 3,982cc. Forced induction comes courtesy of twin ball-bearing turbochargers and some extensive tuning and calibration that helped Aston Martin extract almost 700 horses out of this motor. The matter is also helped by lightweight aluminium forged pistons and con rods. All equipped for pantomime drama both dynamically and acoustically.

Suppose there’s a very rich person. Richest of the rich. Richie Rich of the richest. One fine day he had a thought: “I hate it when my wife has to take an Uber if I want to carry her and my precious golf clubs in my swanky supercar. 

Or suppose there’s another rich person. Similarly, rich as the previous one. And one fine day he also had a thought: “I hate how my testosterone levels drop when my super-practical SUV is overtaken by a dude with the golf clubs in his swanky supercar.” 

Finally, suppose someone from the super-exclusive car manufacturing community caught a whiff of this and thought: “Eureka!” That’s my idea of how this breed of cars was born. And it makes a fair bit of sense to me personally. But that still does not completely clarify why the Aston Martin DBX 707 was made. 

The GTs and Super GTs made by Aston Martin are fairly practical. But maybe someone in Aston Martin went: “Bollocks. We love racing too much. The GTs are still not practical enough. So, they made an SUV- DBX 707. After they were done, I am sure someone still said, “Bollocks. Again. I guess we do love racing a bit too much. At least it is practical. Make it and sell it.” 

Very long and winded jokes apart, the Aston Martin DBX 707 is a heck of a car. It looks pompous and dramatic. It sounds like those things even more. And the way it goes is all that and then some. If you think that the standard DBX (calling a DBX ‘standard’ makes this one of the best days of my life) was bonkers, the 707 is utter insanity. So let us start with the differences between the two.

The engine, more the way it has been reworked, is the most obvious one. For the DBX 707, Aston Martin uses an even more powerful 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. It is now equipped with ball-bearing turbos and bespoke calibration. So, while the standard DBX (I am loving it) makes 542 bhp and 700 Nm of torque, the DBX 707 gets 697 horses and 900 torques! Continuing with the changes in the drivetrain, the DBX 707 gets a multi-plate wet clutch over the 9-speed automatic of the DBX. 

The DBX 707 also gets a new e-diff, upgraded to be able to handle the massive torque output of the heavily-revised V8. This has not only made the DBX 707 quicker but perkier in the corners too with the ability to send 100% of the torque to the rear axle when needed. The Air suspension has been worked upon as well and the chassis has been tuned for even sportier handling on the DBX 707.

Finally, in terms of changes excluding cosmetics (and they are significant too), the DBX 707 gets carbon-ceramic brakes as standard. You can go fast but if you don’t stop fast enough, you are not going too far. Aston Martin took cognizance of that and upgraded the brakes which also aided in a serious reduction in unsprung mass. Talking about that, The DBX 707 tips the scales at 2,245 kilos (kerb), the same as the standard DBX which is a mean feat considering the add-ons. 

Onwards to the more obvious differences- looks. The Aston Martin DBX was anything but subtle. The Aston Martin DBX has things dialled to 11 in this regard. The massive signature grille in the front gets a satin-chrome finish. It not only looks cool but aids in cooling as well. The air intakes are new, the brake cooling ducts have been revised and a beautiful front splitter completes the changes in the front. The wheels are 22”, the same as the DBX, but finished in diamond-turned gloss black. At the rear, the twin tailpipes have been replaced with a quad unit in addition to a massive rear diffuser and a new lip spoiler.

Inside the cabin, the changes are more subtle. A lower console and physical switches allow one to have instant access to drive mode selection, manual gear selection, ESP, suspension mode, and the active exhaust switch. No mucking about with the infotainment to change how your DBX 707 drives! Finally, the Sport Plus seats are now standard. 

That was a lot of talk about the changes but how about we talk about the DBX 707 objectively now? Historically, Aston Martins have always been beautiful. The golden ratio, the signature grille, and the brand’s attention to detail make Aston Martins some of the most desirable cars in the world. The DBX 707 is no different. Despite being a relatively practical SUV, the ratios and the lines are a work of art like any other Aston Martin. And those beautiful swan wing doors… just brilliant.

Driving the DBX 707 in India
The DBX 707 seems like a perfect supercar (yes, it is a supercar to me) for our country, right? It seems that way. It can tackle our roads without damage amounting to eye-watering sums. It can deal with our speed bumps. It can fulfil our need for more. More space, more practicality, and more testosterone are thrown in the mix as well. It is all that but then again, where in India can you unleash its 700 horses? To be completely honest though, there are not a lot of countries where you can do that.
For the most part, the 100 km or so that I drove the DBX 707 in India, I was very careful throughout. The pedal has the power to unleash 700 horses so you have to be aware of how far down you push it. Then there’s the traffic and the laws of traffic (or lack thereof). You never know when a stray might jump in your way. You never know when a hardworking person who values time might start driving/riding on the wrong side of the road to save a precious few minutes. And you never know when someone passionate might become too inclined to take a picture of the DBX 707… on the move!

Despite the extremely sportier treatment of the DBX 707, the execution has been smooth. The addition of large splitters and diffusers has been seamless. I believe that the 707 looks better than the standard car and I am sure a lot of people will agree. It could easily have been called the DBX AMR and no one would have batted an eyelash. My apologies to the folks in Gaydon with an AMR was in the pipeline and I have spoiled that particular party. 

Also, the name 707 seems very fitting for an Aston Martin because… James Bond. But it is not intentional and just a happy coincidence that the car makes 707 PS of power. So here is another car that has the distinction of having its power figure in its name.

Stage 2: Japan

I will split the difference between driving the DBX 707 in India and Japan later on. For now, I will just stick to the general interpretation of how this car drives. Right off the bat, there is nothing ‘general’ about the driving dynamics of this car. First off, it has insane amounts of power and torque. The numbers are impressive, yes, but their application is beyond words. A car weighing more than 2 tonnes that can do 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds? What has the world come to? 

Yes, it feels as brutal as it sounds. With launch control, the DBX 707 turns you inside out and I am not exaggerating at all. And it drops the anchor just as well so you can turn yourself outside in whenever you want. If you can find a place to keep the pedal floored, Aston Martin says that it’ll do 310 km/h! How is this not a supercar!? Oh, that’s probably because I got in easy, am comfortable inside, and can get out easy. Nailed it! 

This is all thanks to that 4.0-litre Twin Turbo V8 from AMG and the massive rework that it underwent at Aston Martin. Makes one wonder about the extent of globalization, does it not? Driving a British car with a German heart in India and Japan, the two countries with some of the highest manufacturing power in the world. Anyway, let us get back to the DBX 707.

With the weight and the body style, one might think that the DBX 707 is a straight-line hero only. It is not. It can go around corners and it can shame some of the best out there in doing so. First off, it is down to the tyres. Massive 285/40 YR22 and 325/35 YR22 Pirelli P Zeros that offer unrelenting grip. That unrelenting grip is then augmented by the chassis and suspension setup to make the DBX 707 one of the most well-setup cars in its class if there is one. 

The steering feels meaty and trust me when I say this, it’ll take a professional driver and a racetrack to hit the limits of what this car can do. That e-diff works wonders in almost nullifying the impacts of the DBX 707’s weight, which itself is nothing to scoff at in its class if there is one. 

Finally, the aerodynamics. We have come to the point where IC engines are getting smaller. On the flip side, the power figures we can extract from them have somewhat peaked. So, the next best way to make a car quicker and faster is aerodynamics. With their years of experience in racing, the DBX 707 boasts some of the best aero in terms of both drag and downforce. Again, in its class if there is one.

Driving the DBX 707 in Japan
Driving the DBX 707 in Japan was a bit of a relief, a wee bit. But for the most part, it felt amazing. Driving a Super SUV of a British make in Japan, a country known for some supercars and some SUVs. I can be a bit cheeky that way but honestly, the Aston Martin is revered in Japan as well. People take notice, some are inclined towards pictures but they do it in a manner that seems safer but hey, that’s just me.
I drove the DBX 707 here for around 250 km in the beautiful Hokkaido and the bustling Tokyo. Reminded me of when I rode the Multistrada here- an Italian machine in the home of the Big 4 of motorcycling. I can be a bit cheeky that way. Anyway, Japan has always fascinated me. I love how this island nation has embraced technology (and become one of the leaders in it) without letting go of tradition. In a sense, Japan has combined technology and tradition like the Aston Martin DBX has combined Supercar and SUV.

To be honest, there is no reviewing these kinds of cars. And that is why this is not a review. It is just a passionate man talking about the experience of driving an unassuming supercar in SUV disguise, made by passionate men. In that sense, the DBX 707 is an absolute masterclass. 

So, what do I think about the DBX 707? Well, as I mentioned, this is not a review. So, there is no verdict. These are just some thoughts. Is it a wonderful car? Yes. Is it a car I want? Yes. But then, I want an Aventador as well. So, the heart wants what it wants. If someone wants an Aston Martin, they get an Aston Martin. Should you get one? If you have the money and you want an Aston Martin, by all means. But you’ll need money, a lot of it. 

In India, it costs over 5 crores, almost double what it costs in some other countries, thanks to our tax structure. But then again, the DBX 707 is a very special car. It solves the dilemma of the two rich persons that I talked about earlier. The wife does not have to take an Uber, golf clubs are safe and sound, there’s room for kids or at least for planning a couple of them, and the testosterone levels go up proportionally to the downward movement of the pedal. What’s not to like?