Dying can wait
Founded in 1913, Aston Martin has had its ups and downs. We will not blame his followers for retaining only the best of this long story which more than once almost turned into a tragedy. So far, the brand has survived, but to succeed in its shift to all-electric, it relies above all on the DBX, a utility vehicle, to get its hands on Mercedes’ technology…
Maserati, Porsche, Lamborghini, in short, all the fine linen of the automotive industry have long understood that the world market for luxury sports cars will hardly progress in the coming years. On the other hand, sport utility vehicles point to much more favorable prospects. The addition of these non-standard vehicles (for these brands, of course) makes it possible to increase production considerably. An argument to which Aston Martin could not remain insensitive because of the scarcity of its cash. But to this argument in favor of the creation of this utility (its construction began in 2014) was added a second. That of garnering the sums necessary to finance the electric transition. To succeed in this conversion, the small British firm will eventually be able to count on Mercedes (which has a stake in its capital) and its technological developments. And even more to perfume it with its aura since electrification will undoubtedly largely abolish the mechanical superiority that Aston Martin and others imposed during the reign of the combustion engine.
Whether it was thermal or electric does not matter, the DBX is above all an Aston Martin. That is to say an elegant line despite slightly too visible growths (the rear diffuser, for example) in its 707 version. It is also a cabin that smells of (genuine) leather and eccentricities. Like that push-button gearbox selector (like on Lincoln) or that interior pull to lift the passenger-side hood. Details that make you smile more than the completely outdated infotainment system. Slow, not very smart (you need a cable to activate the CarPlay and Android Auto functions). An aberration for a vehicle of this price. On this subject, Aston Martin parades a catalog of options to thrill. Satin white (see our photos) incurs a $10,600 outlay, while green stitched upholstery will relieve your wallet of an additional $9,200.
A monster of power
The winged brand has invested heavily in the creation of the DBX. The architecture on which it is based will probably never be used for another model. A luxury to which none of its rivals is entitled.
On the other hand, the small British firm must call on outside help, in this case AMG, the sports subsidiary of Mercedes, to animate the DBX. The latter takes over, not without having retouched and assembled it, the 4 L V8 supercharged by two turbochargers. The 707 suffix refers to the engine’s European metric horsepower (707 horsepower), a measurement that equates to 98.6% of one horsepower by North American standards. This explains the 697 horses listed in our technical sheet. Ten horses more or less, the torque force remains the same. The merit goes to him to catapult ferociously and noisily (the neighborhood will appreciate just as much the explosions during the downshifts) the two tons of this utility. The thrust is energetic, but mainly in the first five gears. The other four ensure, for their part, to calm the appetite of this mechanism. The timed figures do not lie: the pleasure of reaching the legal speed allowed on our roads is a short-lived one.
As for the top speed, let’s not talk about it, it is beyond belief (310 km/h). Let’s focus instead on the dynamism of his behavior.
By nature, such a massive and heavy utility lends itself poorly to piloting. However, this model has all the assets in hand to confuse us. It offers the driving pleasure of a pure sports car.
As soon as you hoist yourself on board, nothing suggests that this leather-covered rolling lounge can tickle the apexes of the turns with as much dexterity. Even less to contain cash movements with as much firmness. While at the controls of other large SUVs, you sometimes feel a form of heaviness when changing downforce and an unpleasant feeling of inertia when braking, none of that at the wheel of the DBX. This tour de force owes a lot to the particularly sophisticated chassis and the refinement of the electronic equipment, in particular the exceptionally responsive all-wheel drive. This remarkable dexterity is noticeably dulled on more tortuous routes where the DBX appears less restless, more starchy or on a road in bad shape. The very low-profile 23-inch tires struggle to deal with potholes and other crevices, while the suspension (especially in Race mode) shakes the body (and its occupants) vigorously.
The DBX 707 impresses, yes, but that does not prevent us from wondering about the meaning that should be given to such a bulky, greedy vehicle and exhaling an unmentionable quantity of CO2. Because this Aston Martin is designed for largely virtual uses; in real life, extremely rare are those who will consent to take him on a circuit, the only place where he can express himself freely.
Aston Martin DBX 707
Suggested retail price
Guaranteed exclusivity, inimitable cachet
Sporty temperament as long as there is space
Interior warm as a handshake
We love less
Outdated infotainment system
Suspension abused by Quebec roads
Consumption that encourages slowing down
Only if you hope to win the jackpot…
- Turbocharged 4.0L V8 DOHC
- 697 hp at 6000 rpm 663 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm
- Weight: 2326 kg
- Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 3.3 seconds
- Top speed: 310 km/h
- Standard: 9-speed automatic
- Optional: none
- Drive Mode: Integral
- Front: 285/35ZR23
- Rear: 325/30ZR-3
Tank capacity and recommended gasoline
Wheelbase: 3048mm; length: 5029.2mm; height: 1679mm; width: 1999mm1
1. Exterior mirrors included
Two years ago, Aston Martin joined Mercedes as official supplier to the Formula 1 World Championship. In addition to the Vantage, which acts as a safety car in certain Grands Prix, the DBX is given the role of a medical car. And a rolling laboratory for the British brand, which specifies that the lessons learned from this Formula 1 program have enabled it to refine the production of the 707.
The vision of boss
Now under the control of Canadian Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin aspires to become the British Ferrari, nothing less. Since his arrival, he has forged even closer contacts with Mercedes, reviewed the business plan and abandoned some frivolous projects of the former administration, including the creation of an in-house V6 engine. With the help of the DBX, Aston Martin intends to ensure that its assembly lines produce more than 10,000 units per year (all models combined) by 2025, the year in which the brand’s first electric vehicles will appear in the open. .
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The Press will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: Honda Pilot, Kia Niro, Mercedes EQB, Nissan Ariya. If you own one of these vehicles or are considering purchasing one, we would love to hear from you.