DBX707. The world’s most powerful luxury SUV. Showcasing blistering performance, supreme dynamics and unmistakable style, it’s a vehicle that dominates in every area. An engine capable of thunderous acceleration. A transmission that fires 30% faster gear changes. Chassis, dynamics and suspension crafted to exploit its power. Handling the driver can adapt. Aerodynamics to slice through air. Achieving such new, unprecedented heights requires absolute engineering mastery. To delve deeper into the DBX707’s unquestionable brilliance, we put some questions to one of its brilliant engineers, Andy Tokley.
A performance-driven SUV, with the heart of a sports car
Q: When & how was DBX707 conceived? Was there an insight that sparked the need for it?
Andy: We carried out the first stages of DBX707 development alongside developing the base DBX V8 car in 2016. We did this to make sure we could package the stronger driveline components within our platform. Right from the start, the desire was to have a variant within the DBX line-up that reached the pinnacle of the performance SUV segment. We made sure we had the relevant targets in place, to stand out from the competition. We also continued to consider these targets, and the DBX707’s performance, throughout the tuning phase, to ensure it stayed true to its Aston Martin DNA.
Q: What excites you about working on an SUV, specifically?
Andy: Working on a luxury SUV is a great challenge. That’s due to the wide range of capabilities our customers expect from theirs. DBX707 has to perform in extreme cold and hot climates. Off-road and on track. It also has to be capable of carrying five occupants in luxurious comfort, with a boot full of luggage, a roofbox, and a trailer.
To deliver such a great range of capability, with minimal compromise, we have to put a lot of exciting technologies and control systems to work.
DBX707 represented many firsts for technology in an Aston Martin. These include: Triple volume air suspension, active damping with rebound and compression, controlled independently, active roll control, and an active 4-wheel drive system.
Designed for maximum performance, on and off the track
Q: What key design challenges did DBX707 present?
Andy: The biggest challenge with DBX707 was to make sure the engineering didn’t just increase the straight-line performance. Our engineering had to actually broaden DBX707’s overall range of performance. DBX707 can be just as at home daily driving as the base DBX V8 car. It retains the same, great ride comfort, the same lack of noise, vibration and harshness, and the same driveability. The difference is, when you want to extract performance, the DBX707 shows the other side of its character.
To make sure this was possible, we scrutinised the tuning of every system within DBX707. Unleashing the potential of our luxury SUV not only had to be achievable, but also enjoyable.
For example, imagine driving down a city road. We had to make sure the suspension breathed and flowed nicely, and that the brakes were easy to modulate. Now imagine driving as if you’re on a racetrack. We needed DBX707 to also give you great body control and braking performance at high speeds.
Q: What's your favourite aspect of this model? Anything you're particularly proud of in its design?
Andy: I’m most proud of the overall usability and driving experience. This really is a vehicle that you can do everything with, and, in my opinion, DBX707 delivers the best driving experience within the segment. I’m lucky enough to do a lot of miles in DBX707. Even within the same week, I can be driving off-road, taking my family on a trip, or drifting around a racetrack. The range of operation that can come from a single vehicle still astounds me.
Power. Driven. An SUV woven with purpose
Q: What does 'power' mean to you?
Andy: Power, to me, means performance and control. DBX707 must give you a feeling of performance. One that excites you and delivers key stats, such as 0-60mph in just a few seconds etc. But, this needs to be accompanied by control. The power needs to be accessible by all drivers, and they need to have the confidence to use it.
Thanks to a suite of modifications, you don’t just handle DBX707’s supersaloon-humbling performance. You can fully exploit it. Dampers, re-rated. Electronic stability program (ESP), re-programmed. For greater freedom of expression. For greater power. Power that becomes usable. Power that becomes yours.