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Review (2/2)

The DB9 Receives Styling, Engineering and Equipment Enhancements for 2011

Source: Aston Martin | Published: Tue Aug 17, 2010

(continued from the previous page)

Background of the DB9

The introduction of the DB9 marked the beginning of Aston Martin's 21st Century renaissance. The first new model to be built at Aston Martin's headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, and the first to be built around Aston Martin's rigid, lightweight, bonded aluminum VH architecture; the DB9 was an immediate and unparalleled success, setting a new tone for Aston Martins of the future.

Since its launch in 2003 some 12,500 DB9s have been produced and delivered to customers in 34 countries. This establishes it as the most successful Aston Martin model of all-time (jointly with the V8 Vantage), surpassing total sales of the DB7. Current DB9 production volume is around 1,500 cars per year.

Engineering

Since the DB9's introduction Aston Martin has demonstrated the versatility of the VH architecture by developing the Vantage, DBS and Rapide model ranges. In the process Aston Martin's engineers have gained an increasingly detailed understanding of the VH platform, which in turn has led to the constant improvement and evolution of existing established models.

In this latest package of improvements for DB9, hardware changes focus on the chassis, featuring a standard Adaptive Damping System (ADS) which offers a system constantly evaluating the optimum damper condition, similar to that seen on the DBS and Rapide models. Controlled by a button on the centre console, the two-stage adaptive dampers can be switched between their default mode, which is optimized for ride comfort, and a firmer sport mode, which delivers tighter body control and a more responsive feel. Such is the success of the DB9's new damping system that the DB9 Sport Pack upgrade has now been discontinued. However a Sport design alloy wheel is available as an option.

Performance comes courtesy of Aston Martin's celebrated 6.0-liter V12 engine, which develops an unchanged 470 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a choice of six-speed 'Touchtronic' paddle-shift automatic or six-speed H-pattern manual transmissions, the DB9 offers an intoxicating blend of effortless pace and sporting character. A top speed of 190 mph and the ability to hit 60 mph in just 4.6 sec seal its credentials as the definitive 2+2 Grand Tourer.

Improving One of the Most beautiful Cars

Improving upon what many consider to be one of the most beautiful cars in the world is a delicate exercise. According to Aston Martin's Director of Design, Marek Reichman, subtlety and fine attention to detail is the key: "The beauty of an Aston Martin comes from harmonious proportions, a ground-hugging stance, taut surfacing and a complete and thorough attention to detail. The DB9 epitomizes these qualities; it is beautiful but subtle - not attention seeking."

At the front a new bumper is the main change, with a re-shaped lower intake featuring hexagonal mesh to compliment the new bright finish radiator grille. New headlamp bezels complete the fresh nose treatment. In profile the DB9's sill has also been changed, with a more prominent 'hockey stick' curve ahead of the rear wheels. Marek Reichman explains: "The DB9 remains one of the world's most beautiful sports cars and is instantly recognizable as an Aston Martin; the changes we have introduced here modernize the DB9 to keep it at the forefront of automotive design."

Other changes include silver brake calipers, 20-spoke diamond turned alloy wheels as standard, together with new design option wheels and a bright finish grille. Clear rear light lenses are also standard. Inside Double Apex alloy finish is now added to the list of options, along with the exceptional BeoSound audio system from Bang & Olufsen.

Motorsport

Mirroring the DB9's road-going success, Aston Martin Racing's DBR9 and DBRS9 endurance racers have proved hugely successful on racetracks around the world. With a total of some 20 DBR9 and 30 DBRS9s built and delivered to customer teams around the world, Aston Martins have consistently scored victories in a host of national and international championships.

Since winning on its race debut, at Sebring in 2005, the DBR9 has been established as a constant and hugely competitive car in the GT1 category, scoring back-to-back class victories at the greatest 24-hour race of them all - Le Mans - in 2007 and 2008.

Aston Martin DB9: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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