Hot Wheels! Test Driving The New Aston Martin DBX707 SUV

Words by
Jonathan Bell

30th June 2022

Sardinia, small but spectactular, covers a continent’s worth of geography and weather, from snow to scorching. Where better to put the new Aston Martin DBX707 SUV through its paces?

aston martin sardinia

The perfect island condenses a continent’s worth of geography into an easily digestible size. From coastal roads and mountain passes to deep gorges and crag-lined beaches.  Sardinia offers some of the most spectacular landscapes in Europe. It’s a relatively rare destination for the automotive press circuit, so it made a powerful impression on the first lucky individuals to explore its roads from behind the wheel of Aston Martin’s newest and most distinctive SUV, the DBX707. With all the paraphernalia and personnel of an international car launch, the event garnered the kind of British presence not seen on the island since the filming of The Spy Who Loved Me in August 1976.

Aston Martin’s base was the Hotel Cala di Volpe, one of the jewels of Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda. The hotel was designed by the French architect Jacques Couëlle and opened in 1962, the centrepiece of a new luxury development that was to transform the image of the island. Couëlle was one of several contemporary architects who helped shape the vision of this region’s promoters, led by Prince Karim Aga Khan IV.

Aston Martin DBX707

It was the Aga Khan who initiated investment into northern Sardinia, effectively creating the town of Porto Cervo to serve an emerging breed of high-end holidaymakers — the first jetset generation. Fishing boats and tractors were soon joined by yachts and sports cars. In the decades that followed, Porto Cervo expanded to include a superyacht marina, big-brand boutiques and some of the world’s highest real-estate prices. That said, none of this detracted from the region’s natural beauty.

We set off on the road to our first lunch stop, the Trattoria Pedra Longa. Our route takes us due south along the SS125 Orientale Sarda, one of Sardinia’s best driving roads, snaking along the edge of the steep Gola di Gorropu. The smooth road has a perfectly balanced mix of tight corners and long stretches that offer the chance to experience the 707’s poise and precision, especially with the enhanced suspension set-up of the Sport+ mode. The carbon ceramic brakes give you unshakeable confidence, and the sharpened electronic power steering allows you to scythe into an apex, exiting the corner with a snap of instant acceleration.

Our destination, the Trattoria Pedra Longa, is reached via a private road that makes a long, winding descent down a ravine, where the restaurant is perched beside the sea, far from the beaten track. Celebrated local chef Roberto Petza, creator of Michelin-starred S’Apposentu, has collaborated with the trattoria to create a celebration of the island’s seasonal food offerings. One of his specialities is suckling pig, porceddu, a dish that has come to define Sardinian cuisine, and we’re treated to plates piled high with the succulently cooked meat.

cow Sardinia

It’s a wrench to tear ourselves away, but the schedule demands a return to Cala di Volpe. From Pedra Longa, our route snakes north-west through the island’s hinterland, a sparsely populated, dramatic landscape that is one of the largest wildernesses in Europe.

It is a spectacular road, carved along valleys, often disappearing through long tunnels supported by concrete pillars. These create a stroboscopic effect as the 707 rips along the deserted roads, the revised valves in the twin exhausts opening up so that sound bounces off the hard surfaces in an escalating cacophony. We’re up on the edge of the snow line at points, revealing Sardinia’s varied topography.

Fortunately, the roads remain glassy smooth. Arrow-straight stretches give the twin-turbocharged V8 a chance to show its mettle; one thing is for certain, this car’s capabilities are truly exceptional. The engine’s 707ps translates into a top speed of 193mph, and a zero to 60 time of 3.1 seconds. There is power on tap to make the most of every overtaking opportunity, effortlessly hustling the big five-seater past agricultural traffic and ponderous lorries. This is the difference between DBX 707 and other luxury SUVs; you never doubt for a minute that you’re driving a pure-bred sports car, a machine that will give its all consistently, smoothly, and safely.


The 707’s enhanced aerodynamics package is paired with a slightly wider track than the original DBX. Subtle brake vents are cut into the bodywork to help cool the discs on the wheels. Enhanced interior materials, as well as minor revisions to the dashboard and the welcome addition of soft-close doors, are all introduced to give the DBX707 a more bespoke, luxurious feel, although the cossetting sports seats are fitted as standard.

As the slate roofs and white walls of the hotel hove into view at the corner of the bay, it evokes the location’s starring role in the The Spy Who Loved Me. That evening, we dine in the very space once occupied by Roger Moore and Barbara Bach’s canopy-draped bed. Providing the menu for the evening is another esteemed British import, who joins as part of Aston Martin’s entourage.

A former protégé of Rick Stein and Nathan Outlaw, chef Tom Brown is best known for Cornerstone in London’s Hackney, a Michelin-starred seafood restaurant. Brown and his team specialise in reinterpreting British classics, working with the best fresh produce. For Aston Martin’s guests, Brown applied his craftmanship to the local seafood, paring back dishes with an exquisitely minimalist presentation.

DBX707 is a flagship in many respects, not just in terms of raw performance. It exemplifies Aston Martin’s breadth of talent, from design to engineering, and the company’s ability to constantly refine and enhance its products. It is that rarest of beasts, a true Sports Utility Vehicle, one that offers luxury and practicality alongside headline figures that demand your attention. 

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