Aston Martin Refines Its Exotic Family Car
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Aston Martin Refines Its Exotic Family Car

By Jim Motavalli
Sat, Jun 15, 2024 10:26amGrey Clock 4 min

The DBX, in base or 707 form, is certainly practical for everyday activities.

It’s a two-row SUV whose rear passengers enjoy plenty of legroom, separate climate controls, and heated seating. Although the carbon ceramic brakes are standard, lifestyle options include accessories for transporting pets and “event seating” to enjoy tailgate parties. The latter are amenities once seen only in the popular Range Rover—a car that now has a lot of competition.

“The average mileage driven in our SUVs is two to three times that of the sports cars we sell,” says Alex Long, a product and strategy executive at Aston Martin, which was presenting its upgraded 2025 DBX 707 in Edinburgh earlier this month. “It’s a huge ‘conquest’ car, meaning that three-quarters of the initial buyers were new to the brand. Previously they might have said, ‘I love Aston Martin, but the cars aren’t practical for me.’”

The DBX 707s at Scotland’s famed Gleneagles golf resort.
Jim Motavalli

The redesigned interior on the test car was a riot of red leather, even on the hand holds. Carbon fibre, in a process co-developed by Aston, is mostly decorative on the interior, though it’s employed for lightness in the tailgate and tailgate surround. The car lacks a head-up display, but it has just about every other modern amenity, including Apple CarPlay and an (optional) 23-speaker, 1,600-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system that is new in the 2025 model. There is a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch central display. The bottom line for the 707 is US$249,000, putting it considerably below Rolls-Royce Cullinan territory (that one starts at US$392,000). Deliveries began in the second quarter of this year.

At the wheel of the DBX 707 in right-hand drive form
Aston Martin photo

The power comes from a four-litre, twin-turbo V8 obtained from Mercedes-AMG. The output is 697 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque, shifted by an also-Mercedes-derived nine-speed wet-clutch automatic. The bulk of the time you’re in rear-wheel drive, but power is directed to the front axle as needed, and the DBX is a capable off-road performer. Americans will also want to know that despite being derived from a long line of two-seat sports cars, the DBX can haul nearly 6,000 pounds.

Big V8s can move a lot of weight, and despite its 4,949 pounds the DBX 707 can reach 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds and attain 193 mph.

More than half of Aston’s current sales are of the DBX SUV, and even in Scotland—where the small car used to reign supreme—it’s apparent that the SUV is taking over the roads, Long says. North America is Aston’s biggest market, accounting for 35% of sales.

Inside the DBX 707.
Jim Motavalli photo

The DBX was launched in 2020 and the upmarket 707 in 2022. The platform is not used on any other car. Andy Tokley, chief engineer for the DBX, says the chassis layout of the refreshed model has been modestly redefined for better passenger comfort. There’s ample rear legroom, and fully adaptive shock absorbers, air suspension, and active roll bars deliver a smooth ride. But not too smooth. The tweaks to the DBX included exhaust note tuning so that passengers hear more of that distinctive V8 rumble, Tokley says.

The DBX could be seen as Aston Martin’s best bet for an electric drivetrain, although the company is actively working with American brand Lucid on EVs and plans are somewhat delayed. Aston was to have launched an EV in 2025 but chairman Lawrence Stroll recently told Autocar that “consumer demand is not what we thought it was two years ago.” Four EVs have reportedly been designed, but it will likely be at least 2026 before we see one of them.

The DBX group on the trail
Jim Motavalli

Aston Martin’s portfolio includes accessible, almost mainstream, models like the DBX and exotics like the US$3 million Valkyrie supercar, of which 150 coupes and 85 Spyders have so far been built. Only 40 are left to be constructed. And in addition to the cars, well, there’s real estate. In the wake of Porsche and Bentley, the company developed the Aston Martin Residences in Miami, which had its grand opening in April.

By that time, 99% of the 391 luxury condominiums, located where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay, had already been sold. But the US$59 million triplex penthouse with 27,191 square feet of living space is available, an Aston spokeswoman says.  The 66-storey building is constantly reminding occupants of the Aston brand, whose cues adorn door handles, room number signs, and door tabs.



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Sparkling wine flows as Australian winemaker takes out top international award

The Tasmanian-based winemaker was among a number of Australian producers to be honoured at the event in London this week

By Robyn Willis
Thu, Jul 11, 2024 2 min

An Australian winemaker has taken out the top prize for sparkling wine at the International Wine Challenge, the first time a local winemaker has done so. It marks just the second time in the competition’s 40-year history that the award has gone to a winemaker outside France’s Champagne region.

Tasmanian-based House of Arras’ chief winemaker, Ed Carr, was presented with the award for Sparkling Winemaker of the Year at a special ceremony in London earlier this week.

“I’m incredibly honoured to be named this year’s Sparkling Winemaker of the Year. It’s a challenge to describe the feeling, but I’m proud to be recognised amongst my peers for such a significant international award,” Mr Carr said.

The IWC is considered one of the world’s most rigorous and impartial wine competitions. This year, France topped the medal tally with 72 gold, 394 silver and 455 bronze medals – extending their haul by 84 more wins than last year.  

The 40-year-old competition is considered one of the most influential events in the winemaking calendar.

Australian winemakers took out second place, with 54 gold, 250 silver and 154 bronze medals. Australia also won 19 trophies, 10 of which went to South Australia.

House of Arras also received the Australian Sparkling Trophy for its 2014 House of Arras Blanc de Blancs, as well as two gold and six silver medals.

Tasmania’s cool climate and soil make it ideal for producing world-class sparkling wine says Ed Carr (pictured).

Mr Carr said Tasmania’s cool climate and terroir were equal to the world’s best sparkling wine regions. The wins follow a strong showing this year at Australia’s National Wine Show and the Decanter World Wine Awards, where House of Arras also collected awards.

“2024 has been an outstanding year on the awards front, and I’m honoured to add this recent recognition from the International Wine Challenge to the mantle,” he said. 

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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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