When the DB9 hit the market in the 2005 model year, we loved what Aston had done with it, as it took its 1950s and 60s predecessors and just modernized it — a brilliant concept. Well, the DB9 went through a few minor changes in the 200s, namely a boost from a 449-horsepower, 412 pound-feet V-12 to a 470-horsepower, 443 pound-feet V-12 engine. Other than that, the DB9 has been basically a carryover and is well overdue for a mild upgrade, which we have been speculating about for a while now.
Finally, Aston Martin has given into our prying selves and has released some information on the upcoming revisions to the DB9 for the 2013 model year. Keep in mind here, Aston Martin, like many sports car and supercar builders, are not keen on changing things around just for the sake of change. So we do not expect to see any massive styling changes, only small tweaks here and there to make it sleeker and more stylish, so it remains up to date.
Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ulrich Bez certainly feels good about the revised DB9, as he said: "I am very excited to be unveiling the new DB9 now. My team here at Gaydon has been working hard for many months to improve and update key aspects of this superb Sports GT – the mainstay of our sports car range – and I believe the results to be exceptional."
Well, with all due respect to Dr. Bez, and he deserves plenty, we will have to take a look at this revision and just see how “exceptional” it really is. We have certainly seen some redesign bombs in the last few years, so let’s hope that the DB9 is not one of them.
Click past the jump to read our full review on this all-new DB9 and see if it lives up to the level that Dr. Bez is telling us it does.
As we said, Aston would not totally scrap the body of the successful DB9, rather it just tweaked it a little here and there – call it a little mid-life nip-and-tuck detail. The basic silhouette of this famed GT sports car remains, with its sloped nose, swooping roofline, and its short trunk all making the cut for the 2013 model year. Also carried over, as expected, are the two main body styles, the coupe and volante (convertible).
Where we see the differences are in the little places and there are even a few of these slight changes that have some serious effect on the DB9’s overall performance. Up front, you get revised headlights that boast bi-Xenon bulbs. These headlights have been slightly stretched toward the front and rear since last year and the ends given a sharper point. Also added to the headlights are several bold lines that run along and underneath the headlights, making the front end look a little more stout than it did last year.
Between these revised headlights sits the traditional 5-bar Aston Martin grille, each of the five bars have beveled edges to create and airfoil profile. Just below this slightly revised grille sits the front splitter to add a little extra down-force to the front end, plus it leaves the DB9 with a more open smile that widens the appearance of it. If you like, you can opt for the Carbon Pack, which adds in a carbon-fiber splitter in the place of the stock one, lightening the car and giving it a more sporting appearance. We’ll get more into the Carbon Pack in a bit.
As you progress down the sides of the DB9 you’ll find that the engine heat extractors are still prominent on the front fenders, but they are sleeker and more refined than the previous DB9. No longer is there a strikethrough splitting these extractors into upper and lower hemispheres. Now the extractors are free to breathe as normal and zinc vanes ride along the top edge of them. Theses vanes, which also house the side repeaters, actually progress down the front fenders and taper off as they proceed down the first quarter of the doors, giving the DB9 a fast look just sitting in a parking space or stop light.
If you step to the side of the DB9 you’ll find that the airflow has very little resistance as it flows over the sloped hood and swooping roof. As the airflow heads to the rear end, it will encounter a new surprise that Aston Martin added for the 2013 model year. The air it tossed upward by a spoiler integrated onto the trunk lid to create a little extra downward push on the rear axle.
At the corners, Aston Martin will fit a set of 20-inch alloy wheels. As per usual with Aston Martin, there are more rims to choose from than you can shake a handful of 100-dollar bills at, so you are free to express yourself thought the rims as you see fit.
The rear end looks like it is almost completely a carryover from last year, but there is one minor difference: the rear diffuser is now shapelier, giving the lower portion of the rear end a sportier look.
As we said before, Aston Martin is bringing the Carbon Pack along for the ride into the 2013 model year. The exterior Carbon Pack includes a nice selection of pieces, including:
- Carbon fiber front splitter
- Carbon fiber rear diffuser
- Carbon fiber mirror arms
- Carbon fiber mirror housings
- Dark tailpipes with a graphic finish
Each carbon-fiber piece is done in 2 x 2 twill design – the standard in carbon-fiber weave – and coated in a clear lacquer to give it a slight sheen.
On the outside, Aston Martin did it right when it comes to this redesign. It took the weaknesses of the 2012 DB9 and made them the strengths and strengthened the already good features. Some of the key changes that really improve upon the 2012 model year are the more stylish and sporting headlights, elimination of the cheap-looking front splitter from 2012, reforming of the rear spoiler, and the change to a zinc line over top of the heat extractors as opposed to the old strikethrough design.
|Length x Width x Height||4,720 mm (185 inches) x 2,061 mm (81.14 inches) x 1,282 mm (50.47 inches)|
|Wheelbase||2,740 mm (107 inches)|
|Curb Weight||1,785 kg (3,935 pounds)|
|Standard Exterior Features|
|Two-door coupe body style with 2+2 seating configuration|
|Extruded bonded aluminum VH body structure|
|Aluminum, magnesium alloy and composite body|
|Extruded aluminum door side-impact beams|
|Single bi-xenon headlamps with integrated LED side lights and direction indicators|
|Clear LED rear lamps|
|20-inch five-spoke cast alloy silver painted wheels|
Not only is the interior elegant, but it also boasts some of the finest materials you will likely ever see grace the interior of any other car.
The exterior is not the only part of the new Aston Martin DB9 that got some reworking, as the interior got a fairly decent overhaul too. Not only is the interior elegant, but it also boasts some of the finest materials you will likely ever see grace the interior of any other car.
Aston borrowed the awesome leather first used on the Virage, which is officially going away. This leather requires masterful crafting and hand stitching to get it absolutely perfect. This process uses a narrow strip of leather between two opposing leather panels and the two opposing panels are stitched together, creating a soft, yet strong feel.
The interior is also graced with a plethora of jewel-like glass switches, which give you all of the control you need while keeping the cluttering to a minimum – something many car manufacturers fail at. Even without the use of glass, the beautifully appointed black and silver center stack is neatly laid out with the buttons placed well within the driver’s reach and they are far from overwhelming. The only complaint here is that some of the buttons appear to be very small.
The driver’s center is neatly appointed, with the steering wheel only housing several controls and the silver-backed instruments are in clear sight. The door panels, dashboard, and center console all don the same beautiful treatment as the gorgeous leather-trimmed seats, giving the interior a clean look that just looks like it belongs in an Aston Martin. The use of lightly contrasting colors is also exquisite, as they add a little style without making it look overwhelming.
If you’re looking for a little sportier feel to your 2013 DB9, you can opt for its 2 + 0 seating package, which eliminates the +2 seats in the rear and replaces the front seats with the lightweight seats. These Kevlar and carbon-fiber seats not only provide better back and neck support, but they also knock 17 kg (37 lbs) off of the car’s total weight.
To help cap off the luxurious look and feel of the Aston Martin DB9’s interior, you can opt for a leather headliner, which boasts a leather center with Alcantara-colored outer rail.
Just like with the exterior, you can opt for a Carbon Pack for the interior, which includes:
- Carbon-fiber upper fascia,
- Carbon-fiber gear selector paddles
- Carbon-fiber door pulls.
Overall, the interior of the Aston Martin DB9 simply stuns us. Not only is it well put together, but extremely well throughout. Everything has a nice and neat place and nothing is really in the way of distracting. The leather throughout its cabin is also very nicely done, giving it the look that an Aston Martin needs to have.
|Standard Interior Features|
|Full-grain leather interior|
|Walnut fascia trim with graphite center console finish and iridium silver surround|
|Leather sports steering wheel|
|Electrically adjustable sports seats with side airbags|
|Memory seats & exterior mirrors (three positions)|
|Dual-stage driver/front passenger front airbags|
|Powerfold exterior heated mirrors|
|Heated front seats (sports seats only)|
|Heated rear screen|
|Automatic temperature control|
|Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays|
|Bluetooth telephone preparation|
|Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror|
|Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener (USA and Canada only)|
|Satellite radio system (USA only)|
|Front and rear parking sensors|
|Tyre pressure monitoring system|
|Alarm and immobilizer|
|Remote-control central door locking and boot release|
|Tracking device (UK only)|
|LED map-reading lights|
|Lamy pen and pen holder|
|700-watt Aston Martin Premium audio system with Dolby Pro Logic II including six-CD autochanger|
|Integrated Apple iPod connector|
|USB Connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Audio (WMA) and MPEG (MP3) audio file compatibility|
|3.5 mm auxiliary input socket|
Engine and Drivetrain
The 2013 DB9 will debut with an all-new hunk of hardware under its hood, in the form of the AM11 V-12 engine. This 5,935 cc V-12 engine features an all-alloy block, so it is not either you traditional cast-iron or all-aluminum block, likely taking the best of both worlds. Dual variable valve timing helps the V-12 inhale and exhale more effectively by changing all four cam profiles on the fly to compensate for your style of driving. Aston Martin also enlarged the throttle body on the V-12 engine, gave it a higher-capacity fuel pump, smoothed out the intake manifold for freer flow, and machined the combustion chambers for a more effective use of the force created by the exploding fuel and air. Also included is a full-stainless-steel exhaust system with active bypass valves to change the tone and flow of the exhaust, as needed.
All of these improvements helped squeeze 510 horsepower (517 PS) at 6,500 rpm and 457 pound-feet (620 Nm) of torque at 5,500 rpm form this impressive V-12 engine.
The transmission actually sits at the rear of the vehicle and is known as the Touchtronic 2 model. It boasts a total of six speeds and uses an electric wire to shift through the gears, as opposed to the traditional cable-and-lever system. The transmission sends torque to the rear wheels via a pair of alloy tubes with carbon-fiber propeller shafts through a limited-slip differential. Said differential has a 3.46-to-1 gear ration, giving it a nice balance of effective torque and top speed.
All of this technology translates into respectable numbers on the track, as the 2013 DB9 will zip to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.6 seconds and it has a top speed of 183 mph. A slightly higher gear ratio may be a nice option in the future for those that want to get that 0-to-60 time closer to the 4-second mark, but it will drop the top speed a little. There is no evidence that such an option will ever be offered though.
Engine and Drivetrain Specifications:
|Engine||5,935 cc V-12|
|Horsepower||510 horsepower at 6,500|
|Torque||457 pound-feet at 5,500|
|Transmission||Six-speed Touchtronic 2|
|Final Drive Ratio||3.46-to-1|
|0-to-100 km/h (62 mph)||4.6 seconds|
|Top Speed||183 mph|
Handling and Braking
Going fast is all well and good, but being able to control that speed is the name of the game. Aston Martin took great strides in making sure that the DB9 handles and stops better than the previous generation – not that last year’s model was a slouch.
Aston began by scrapping the brakes from last year’s model and adding in all new Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes and a set of Brembo calipers. These CCM brakes use a specific blend of carbon fiber and silicon to create an all-new compound that it not only more durable than the standard iron or steel discs, but much lighter weight – up to 12.5 kg (27.5 lbs) lighter than a conventional setup – and more resistant to brake fading. The durability and brake-fade resistant qualities are obvious in braking, but the weight savings is often overlooked. Rotors sit outside of the springs and are thereby can cause the spring to excessively bounce up and down. The heavier the brakes, the more bounce; the more bounce the worse the car handles – simple as that.
The front discs measure in at a stout 398 mm (15.66 inches) in diameter and get squeezed by a set of 6-piston monobloc Brembo caliper. The rear CCM discs use a set of 4-pot monobloc Brembo calipers and measure in at 360 mm (14.17 inches). Also included, as per usual on these types of cars is: anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, emergency brake assistance and the federally mandated traction control.
To further enhance the braking system, Aston Martin went ahead and cross-drilled the rotors – act of putting small holes through the friction portion of the rotors – which helps wipe away loose friction material from the pads and help dissipate heat. To accelerate the cooling process, the brakes also boast air intakes behind the lower, front grille.
In the suspension system you have a pretty standard setup, including independent front suspension with dual wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bars and monotube dampers. On the rear, you have the same, but it adds in anti-squat and anti-lift technology to keep that backside in check under heavy acceleration or braking.
Where the 2013 DB9 gets unique is its inclusion of the "Gen4" VH architecture version of the brand’s Adaptive Damping System (ADS). The new ADS includes three modes: Normal, Sport and Track. The “Normal” mode is what you’ll typically be cruising around town in. Under normal driving, this model allows the dampers to calmly absorb the jarring caused by road imperfections. However, in “Normal” model, the ADS will adjust the dampers to compensate for high-speed movement and road surface quality on the fly.
It gives you precise movement and excellent feedback.
In the “Sport” mode the dampers deliver more precise movements and allow you to quickly make maneuvers with little body roll. You, of course, must sacrifice a little ride comfort for this increase. “Track” mode is like “Sport” but on steroids. It gives you precise movement and excellent feedback. It sets the dampers at their stiffest setting and allows you to really feel the road – one of the keys to a good-handling car.
With the dampers and suspension geometry keeping the rubber on the road, let’s have a look at this rubber. At the corners you get a set of 8.5J x 20-inch wheels wrapped up in 245/35ZR20 Pirelli rubber up front and a set of 11J x 20-inch wheel embraced by a set of 295/30ZR20 Pirelli P Zero rubber. While these tires may not be the monsters that you’re used to seeing on import sports cars, you’ll be happy to find that this will save you a little cash come tire-replacement time.
Chassis and Suspension Specifications:
|Front Suspension||Dual wishbone with coil springs, anti-roll bars and adaptive monotube dampers|
|Rear Suspension||Dual wishbone with coil springs, anti-roll bars, anti-lift and anti-squat technology, and adaptive monotube dampers|
|Front Brakes||398 mm (15.66-inch) CCM cross-drilled rotors w/ 6-piston monobloc calipers|
|Rear Brakes||360 mm (14.17-inch) CCM cross-drilled rotors w/ 4-piston monobloc calipers|
|Wheels||Front: 8.5J x 20-inch / Rear: 11J x 20-inch|
|Tires||Front: 245/35ZR20 Pirelli P Zero / Rear: 295/30ZR20 Pirelli P Zero|
Pricing, Release Date, and Optional Equipment
Luckily, the 2013 DB9 is officially ready for sale in most markets – the UK and Western European markets will see it in October 2012 – and you can snag one up at your local Aston Dealership. What’s more is that you are actually going to see a slight decrease in the DB9’s pricing when compared to the $189,915 set for the 2012 model year – if you’re in the U.S.
Base MSRP details:
|Volante body style|
|20-inch five-spoke alloy graphite painted wheels with diamond-turned finish|
|20-inch ten-spoke alloy Liquid Silver painted wheels|
|20-inch ten-spoke alloy silver painted wheels with diamond-turned finish|
|20-inch ten-spoke alloy graphite painted wheels with diamond-turned finish|
|20-inch ten-spoke alloy Satin Black painted wheels with diamond-turned finish|
|Alternative brake caliper finish – black, red, and yellow|
|Exterior Carbon Fibre Pack (comprising front splitter, rear diffuser, mirror cap, mirror arm and graphitic tailpipe finish)|
|2+0 Seating (Coupe only)|
|Lightweight seats with six-way electrical adjustment (must be ordered in conjunction with 2+0 seating configuration, not available with heated seats feature)|
|Optional facia trims - Piano Black, bamboo, tamo ash, mahogany|
|Black Alcantara Steering Wheel|
|Matching wood door trim (not available with B&O BeoSound audio system options)|
|Personalised sill plaques|
|1000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower technology|
|Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror|
|Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener|
|Alarm upgrade (volumetric and tilt sensor)|
|Satellite radio system (Canada only) (excludes subscription}|
|Tracking device (UK category five)|
|Satellite radio system|
|Second Glass ECU|
|Rear Parking Assist Camera|
|Interior Carbon Fibre Pack (comprising facia trim, gearshift paddles and door pulls)|
|DB9 logo or Aston Martin wings embroidery on front seat headrests|
|Contemporary Pack (comprising contemporary paint, contemporary leather, contemporary carpet, leather headlining, contrast stitching)|
The list of competitors for the DB9 goes on and on, but we can only look at a few here. First up is the Audi R8 4.2 with its impressive V-8 engine that pumps out 430-horsepower, 317 pound-feet of torque. This car screams to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, 0.1 seconds faster than the DB9. With its AWD system and $114,200 base price, the R8 is a worthy foe, but with its lack of +2 seats in the rear and sports-centric styling, it simply falls short of the full package that the DB9 provides us.
Next up on the list would be the Jaguar XKR-S . This beast packs a mean punch with its 550-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine, plus it comes in at a relative budget at $132,000. This is enough to push this beast to 60 mph in 0.1 seconds less than the DB9. The interior and exterior styling on the XKR-S both match up well with the DB9, and we actually prefer the slightly edgier design that the Jag affords us. Both models fit four adults, though not very comfortably, but the glaring issue with Jaguar is its ongoing quality issues. In the past, we have seen some Jags limping into shops with less than 100K miles and big-time issues. So you need to keep this in mind when thinking about the $50K you’ll save over the Aston Martin.
Finally, let’s have a look at the Maserati GranTurismo MC with its 4.70liter V-8 engine that cranks out 44 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. This beast sends its power through a 6-speed shiftable automatic trans to the rear wheels and can hit 60 mph in about 4.8 seconds – 0.2 seconds slower than the DB9. On the outside, the Maserati is kind of “Blah,” as it looks much like any other sports car in the world. The Maserati receives rave reviews about its interior comfort, but it’s also a lot more cluttered and kind of old looking when compared to the Aston Martin. At $139,900, we think the Maserati is priced well for the market, but not for what you get with it.
It’s there to look good and perform well, and that’s exactly what it does.
We love the DB9, but it is extremely expensive. Having said that, you are getting a luxury car with the highest end of everything and a car that can perform with the best of them and give you the comfort you deserve. Sure, it’s not going to hit 60 mpg in 2.5 seconds or take the slalom at 70 mph, but that’s not its bag. It’s there to look good and perform well, and that’s exactly what it does. What you need to do is decide if you are willing to part with a little extra cash to get into the Aston Martin, or take the build-quality gamble with the Jaguar XKR-S.
- Awesome new styling without changing too much
- Luxurious interior with very simple and well-placed accessories
- Big horsepower boost and plenty of speed to go along
- Priced about $50K out of its market
- Needs the option of higher gearing for better acceleration
- Options will easily push this rig over the $225,000 mark
Gallery Aston Martin DB9
Aston Martin DB9 – the best of British in a Sports GT
DB9 13MY boasts new styling, revised engineering and enhanced luxury
More power from updated 6.0-litre V12 engine, increased to 517 PS
Technology includes Aston Martin’s latest generation adaptive damping
Aston Martin is today revealing full details of the latest major enhancements to its iconic Sports GT car, the luxurious and potent DB9.
Appearing hot on the heels of the all-new Vanquish Super GT, the introduction of 13 Model Year DB9 gives the British luxury sports car maker the perfect opportunity to further enrich the appeal of its mainstay in the GT sector, with significant developments affecting styling inside and out, plus key changes under the new DB9’s classically beautiful ‘skin’.
The styling changes see DB9 adopt an even more lithe, fluid and pure form reminiscent of the outgoing Aston Martin Virage which ceases production with immediate effect. Taking a classic Aston Martin GT silhouette as its base, the new DB9 adds a more pronounced rear boot ‘flip’ to further enhance the aerodynamic performance of the car.
The exterior design of the DB9 communicates a powerfully assertive yet elegant character. The surfaces display taught lines and subtle muscular forms that point to the underlying power of this renowned Sports GT.
DB9 sits low and wide, visually ‘planting’ the car on the road, communicating a clearly athletic stance. The car’s inherent width is accentuated by the ‘light catcher’ feature which runs from the lower front bumper and continues along the sill of the car creating a chiselled, determined look.
Available from launch in either Coupe or Volante body styles, DB9 13MY clearly has a strong breadth of appeal.
Bi-xenon headlamps provide the car with a clear focus, while subtle feature lines run along and underneath the headlamps, visually widening the car.
A large lower front grille feeds air into the standard Carbon Ceramic Braking system, while the front splitter also serves to visually widen the car. For those DB9 buyers in search of an even more sporty appearance there is now a carbon fibre front splitter available as part of the exterior Carbon Pack.
Look a little closer and the true beauty of the DB9’s details becomes apparent. The front grille, for instance – inspired by the design of Aston Martin’s sold-out One-77 hypercar – features five horizontal vanes which are chamfered to create an aerofoil profile. Meanwhile the bonnet vents are authentic zinc with distinctive vanes. These, along with the new grille and pronounced side strakes, are classic Aston Martin design cues.
DB9 13MY also features Aston Martin’s integrated side strake and LED side-repeaters. The long strake accentuates the lean, long lines of the DB9’s nose. Once again, Aston Martin’s craftsmanship is clearly demonstrated in the use of metal grilles and clean lines of the polished metal castings.
At the rear of the car, the DB9’s wide track width and muscular rear haunches clearly communicate the power delivered at the rear wheels.
Inside, as out, the revised DB9 becomes yet more elegant and more luxurious. Unmistakably Aston Martin, the Sports GT’s opulently-appointed interior boasts authentic materials and the highest levels of attention to detail.
For instance, DB9 13MY comes with a stunning leather welt feature first seen on Virage. Inspired by luxury leather goods, the welts have been designed and developed by Aston Martin’s master craftsmen. Requiring meticulous levels of control to hand stitch and specially-developed manufacturing facilities, the welts are created by sandwiching a narrow strip of leather between two opposing leather seat panels, and fixed using precise stitching.
A further demonstration of Aston Martin’s renowned attention to detail and craftsmanship can be seen in the jewel-like glass switchgear used throughout the interior of the revised DB9. Details such as these glass switches clearly demonstrate the luxury sports car maker’s commitment to the use of authentic, high value materials.
Those DB9 buyers seeking an even more sporting ambience inside might be tempted by an additional interior option on DB9 13MY – Aston Martin’s lightweight seats. These are available when the 2+0 seating option is selected and use a state-of-the-art carbon fibre and Kevlar® composite structure.
When specified, the seats save 17kg per car as well as offering occupants more support at the shoulders. This improves comfort and reduces stress on the back during long stints of focused dynamic driving in particular.
Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez said: “I am very excited to be unveiling the new DB9 now. My team here at Gaydon has been working hard for many months to improve and update key aspects of this superb Sports GT – the mainstay of our sports car range – and I believe the results to be exceptional.
“Aside from the undeniably beautiful exterior styling and now even more luxurious interior, there are many important and impressive engineering changes that demonstrate Aston Martin’s renowned ability to create compelling cars in the modern era.”
Engineering – great British innovation
This DB9 sees the introduction of the new generation AM11 V12 engine. The new V12 takes some of the ‘Gen4’ VH architecture hardware technology developed for Aston Martin’s forthcoming all-new super GT, the Vanquish, but has been tuned to suit the character of DB9. The result is an engine with effortless torque of up to 620 Nm and peak power of 517 PS – both significantly improved versus the outgoing unit.
Key features of the AM11 unit include a revised block and new head including dual variable valve timing, enlarged throttle bodies, uprated fuel pump, revised intake manifold and machined combustion chambers.
Meanwhile, DB9 13MY achieves compliance with the latest European pedestrian protection regulations and does so in a new way that is without any compromise to the exterior design of the car and does without the need for otherwise surplus deployable systems.
To accomplish this, Aston Martin’s designers and engineers have worked together to make significant changes to the underbody structure of the car including a lowered engine, new bonnet, front bumper construction and grille surround moulding.
Their resulting design is the subject of patent pending applications and enables the grille to move rearwards on impact, whilst the central and outboard chin stiffeners give rigidity to the lower structure and support achievement of the leg impact regulations. Cut-outs on the front wing catwalks contribute to the achievement of the headform regulation.
This means Aston Martin is able to avoid conventional solutions such as the use of plastic grilles and straightforward nose cone bumpers that stretch up in front of the bonnet. Instead, it has created a clever new and bespoke solution that preserves the unmistakable visual appeal of the VH architecture leading edge bonnet and its extruded aluminium grille.
Dr Bez said: “The new AM11 V12 engine together with our unique and patent pending solution for enhanced pedestrian protection – these are clear examples of the engineering excellence that continues to make Aston Martin the creator of the most desired and admired luxury sports cars in the world.”
Chassis – important upgrades all round
The DB9 13MY boasts a number of important enhancements over the outgoing car’s already impressive inventory. The braking system, for instance, now uses as standard Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) discs and calipers supplied by acknowledged global brake experts Brembo.
While this DB9 offers a refined, comfortable sports GT drive experience, the new carbon brakes provide the confidence and reassurance of reduced brake fade when pressing the car to its sports capability.
CCM consists of a compound of carbon fibre which is impregnated with silicon, injected into a mould and baked at ultra-high temperature. The resulting material is not only much tougher than conventional cast iron discs but also dissipates heat more rapidly to provide reduced fading.
The brake rotors, (398mm diameter at the front, 360mm at the rear), are mounted onto the bespoke disc bells using a ‘floating disc’ system. This allows the discs to flex relative to their mountings thereby making them less prone to ‘judder’.
The discs are cross-drilled to help keep the brake pads clean while also helping to ensure that gases emitted by the pads during braking do not build up between the pad and disc surface. The holes also help to cool the surface of the pads and the discs themselves. Air intakes mounted behind the lower front grille also force feed air into the brake discs to aid cooling.
Saving around 12.5 kg versus a conventional cast iron system the DB9’s CCM brakes not only reduce overall vehicle weight but also mean that a better balance between ride comfort and handling can be struck. The lower rotational mass also gives improved acceleration, braking and steering feel.
The luxury sports car also boasts Aston Martin’s ‘Gen4’ VH architecture version of the brand’s Adaptive Damping System (ADS). This next generation ADS has been enhanced to include three modes: Normal, Sport and Track.
In ‘Normal’ mode, the damping is set to deliver the greatest ride comfort, with the electronically controlled dampers automatically adjusting to provide the optimum settings to suit driver input, speed and the road surface quality. In ‘Sport’ mode, the damping is set-up to be more focused at delivering sharper handling and control during dynamic driving while in the ‘Track’ mode the damping operates within the range of its stiffest settings.
The different damping modes available help appreciably broaden DB9’s character, adapting its set-up to suit the driver’s requirements in different contexts. It can be a comfortable and compliant GT car in Normal mode as well as being a firm and direct sports car in Sport setting and offering highly precise flat cornering in Track mode.
Equipment – luxury comes as standard
As befits a luxury GT in this class DB9 13MY of course features convenience items such as automatic headlights, now operated by a new master switch unit control panel located on the lower instrument panel beneath the driver’s side air-vent.
Automatic windscreen wipers are also a standard-fit feature, with their operation triggered by a rain sensor built into the header pod in front of the rear-view mirror.
Arch-filling 20-inch alloys wheels in a variety of designs, full-grain leather interior, leather sports steering wheel, electrically adjustable Sports seats with side airbags, memory seats and exterior mirrors, satellite navigation, automatic temperature control, trip computer and Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays – the DB9 13MY’s list of standard equipment is suitably generous while buyers keen to further enhance the luxury look and feel of their Aston Martin sports car can select from an extensive range of optional equipment features.
DB9 13MY features the optional reversing camera currently available on the Rapide four-door sports car and forthcoming Vanquish super GT. The camera – standard in the US market – is integrated into the rear boot lid above the number plate, with the image visible on the LCD screen folding out of the centre stack. The reversing camera is activated when reverse gear is selected and is deactivated once the car is driving forwards at more than 5 mph.
Meanwhile there are two Carbon Packs introduced on DB9 13MY – one exterior and one interior – to offer further personalisation possibilities. All of the carbon fibre has a 2 x 2 twill design that is finished with a clear lacquer.
The exterior pack comprises carbon fibre front splitter and rear diffuser, carbon fibre mirror arms and caps and dark tailpipes with a graphitic finish. The interior pack offers a carbon fibre upper facia, carbon fibre gear selector paddles and carbon fibre door pulls.
Buyers can opt for either Aston Martin wings or DB9 headrest embroidery. The DB9 embroidery design has been refreshed and also has a new stitch pattern on 13MY cars.
Finally, a leather headlining is now available as an option on DB9. The large central panel of the headlining can be finished in leather, while the cant rail trim and header trim remain Alcantara-coloured.
Summarising the significantly enhanced appeal of the DB9 13MY, product manager Andy Haslam said: “DB9 has, rightly, been positioned at the hub of our GT segment offerings for some years now.
“The introduction of this significantly enhanced 13MY car means Aston Martin buyers have a very clear and compelling model line-up from which to choose.
“Taking the best elements of Virage, adding important new upgrades and combining these with the iconic DB9 nomenclature we have created a compelling new Sports GT that sits proudly at the very heart of the Aston Martin sports car range.
“With the exceptional new Vanquish super GT occupying the top of the range, there is now a clear and logical step from DB9.”
DB9 13MY is available to order now through Aston Martin dealers worldwide, with the first cars making their market debuts in UK and Western Europe in October. Prices are confirmed as £131,995 (UK RRP); €174,994 (German RRP); $185,400 (USA MSRP); and 21,995,000 JPY (Japan RRP).