There’s something magnetic about the Swiss Alps between Brig and Andermatt. During the summer months these peaks draw a steady stream of high-performance machinery, from sports cars and superbikes to carbon fibre bicycles powered by lean-muscled human beings. All attracted to the sinuous ribbon of tarmac that zig-zags its way up to an altitude of 2,429 metres: the Furka Pass.
It’s a great playground for a two-seater sports car. But you’d have to be confident to take on the challenge of the Furka in a luxury SUV. Aston Martin’s engineers are, because the DBX707 is both the most powerful luxury SUV and the most sporting, with race-honed expertise in every line of its specification.
New ball-bearing turbochargers and bespoke engine calibration push the 4.0-litre V8’s peak outputs to 707PS and 900Nm of torque. That power reaches all four wheels via a new, fast-shifting wet-clutch 9-speed transmission. A shorter final drive improves acceleration in the lower gears, while the electronic e-diff can send up to 100 per cent of the power to the rear wheels giving the DBX707 the agility and handling of a sports car. The air suspension is recalibrated for tighter management of pitch and roll, and thankfully – because in Switzerland, what goes up must come down – the DBX707 is also equipped with huge, fade-free carbon ceramic brakes.
After an exhilarating ascent, you might want to stop at the old Belvedere Hotel. This will also allow spectators to admire the new front-end treatment with its larger grille, air intakes and cooling ducts, as well as the quad exhaust, twin diffuser and roof spoiler at the rear – all visual cues for the ultimate Aston Martin SUV.
Famously, the Furka Pass was the scene of the duel between James Bond’s DB5 and Tilly Masterson’s Mustang in Goldfinger, commemorated today in a curve named James Bond Strasse. But times change and – to misquote Mr Bond – ascending the Furka in the DBX707 will leave you stirred, not shaken.