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Wednesday 19th September 2012

Aston Martin revives DB9

Aston's 'brand-sharpening' exercise continues



Aston Martin has revealed a newly refocused 2013 model year DB9 – and confirmed, as PistonHeads predicted, that the Virage is to stop production “with immediate effect”.

This is Aston Martin having a clear-out. Instead of a dated DB9 and ‘in-betweener’ Virage sitting beneath the similarly dated DBS, buyers now have a revised DB9 and the pretty Vanquish to choose between. The brand is being sharpened rather than stretched thin.

Evolution, not revolution
Evolution, not revolution
There’s good reason Aston Martin calls it ’13MY’ DB9 rather than a new one, though: to look at, it is very much an evolution of the current car. Inside, the changes are even less obvious. It’s beneath the surface that Aston says the major work has taken place. When upgrades include mention of a heavily revised V12 engine that’s positioned differently within the chassis, we’re inclined to believe it.

Visual clout

So, the visuals. If you’re looking at it from the back, you’ll struggle to spot them. The taillights have been clear-lens for a while now, meaning the main upgrade is the rear spoiler, which is extended into a more prominent ‘flip’ to improve the ducktail aero effects.

At the side, the lower section has a crisper light-catcher effect, while the wheels are now 20-inches in diameter. Door mirrors are also more structural (and less like a Ford refuges) in design. It’s subtle, but it does all make the DB9 look more purposeful.

Rear spoiler is more pronounced
Rear spoiler is more pronounced
The key upgrades are at the front, though. The wider grille now gets a five-bar design with ‘chamfered’ design that Aston says creates an aero design similar to that on the One-77. The lower design is also much more contemporary and includes a sharper splitter that eliminates the slightly blunt and kit-car look of the current car.

Those with keen eyes will also spot the bonnet doesn’t only now include zinc vents, but is also an entirely new structure. This is to ensure the car meets the latest Euro pedestrian safety regulations (and thus can remain on sale): Aston’s even patented a new type of collapsible front grille surround to ensure it passes the regs without any form of deployable-on-impact solution.

More power to go and stop

Nothing to see here
Nothing to see here
Mechanically, it has more power, courtesy of a revised AMII V12 benefitting from many Vanquish-inspired upgrades. Now producing 517hp at 6500rpm (up from 470hp) and 457lb ft at 5500rpm (443 at 5000rpm), the new engine has a revised block and a new head that includes dual variable valve timing.

The throttle bodies are bigger, the intake manifold and fuel pump have been revised, and the combustion chambers are now machined. It even now sits lower in the chassis, benefitting the centre of gravity and further helping meet those new pedestrian rules. The same rear-mounted Touchtronic 2 six-speed gearbox remains, with standard LSD.

It gets ‘Gen4’ Adaptive Damping System as standard, with a choice of Normal, Sport and Track modes, and also now come with carbon ceramic discs as standard. The Brembo anchors have 398mm front floating discs and Aston reckons an overall 12.5kg reduction in unsprung mass helps ride and handling plus braking and steering feel.

£10k premium for Volante
£10k premium for Volante
Other changes? They’re there, but you have to look hard, because the interior is the least-changed aspect of all. For the record, there’s a new rotary light switch. Wipers are now auto. It gets full grain leather with a Virage-style leather ‘welt’ edge. Folding door mirrors are standard, a reversing camera is optional. Again though, this is a model year upgrade rather than a new DB9.

Aston focus

Perhaps the biggest improvement is the clearer focus it gives buyers. Instead of the DB9 looking like the poor relation, attention has once again been focused on it – and both identikit alternatives, the Virage and DBS, culled. It’s back to being what Aston calls the ‘hub’ of its GT range. 

In a strange mix of engineering logic and marketing hyperbole, DB9 product manager Andy Haslam summed it up well: “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.

So the numbers continue - for a while
So the numbers continue - for a while
“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.”

Price? From £131,995 for the coupe, an estimated £10k more for the Volante (around £4k more than today, then). It’s available to order now, with deliveries from next month.

richardaucock
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had ham

Original Poster:

2,055 posts

69 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Yawn.

Am I the only one who is now totally bored with this generic AM design?

E38Ross

15,217 posts

98 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Still a fantastic looking thing. I'd have expected a new DB9 soon though, it came out ages ago.

gforceg

1,694 posts

65 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Yep, I can see the family resemblance. Definitely looks like an Aston.

Luckily, I like the way they look.

GranCab

533 posts

32 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
revives or rejuvenates ?

Krikkit

5,143 posts

67 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
I can see why some folks would be getting bored with it by now, but I still love it.
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Codswallop

4,404 posts

80 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Okay then... so Aston Martin discontinue the Virage, then they "re-focus" the DB9 by making it look like the Virage they just discountinued wobble

I can't complain really, as I like the Virage style front end far more than the old DB9 one. Trouble is, how much longer can Aston continue with the same models? Where's all the re-investment into genuinely new models from all their record sales?

CurvaParabolica

2,504 posts

70 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
I see they're taking the Porsche approach to revisions; it is still a beautiful car to look at though.

CypherP

4,325 posts

78 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
I can see rough styling changes, but personally think they were onto something better with the Virage. I know the DB9 is their 'baby' above all else, but I'd really hate to see this continue in a Porsche 911 kind of way.

MJK 24

4,322 posts

122 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Fantastic looking car but eventually they'll have to move away from this styling theme that runs through all their models for something new. It's going to be very hard for them in the future IMO. The current range is so good looking you could argue they've made a rod for their own back.

LotusOmega375D

2,574 posts

39 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
I wish they'd killed off the Tickford Capri style bodykit along with the Virage. Other than that it's pretty, but is it different enough considering that the original DB9 was launched 8 years ago now? Still should help push down prices of the old one!

FWDRacer

3,269 posts

110 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Run out of product and ideas.

ParanoidAndroid

1,102 posts

169 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Looks great, but I don't understand... they cancelled the Virage to make a Virage (albeit witha DB9 badge on the back)?

Bisonhead

1,490 posts

75 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
The view from front 3/4 is stunning, not so when stood still, I feel the spokes are too thin on those wheels.

AM are becoming predictable now. They have found their niche and are making money. Why tinker with something that is still working? Not great for people who expect something new and innovative but great for the conservative and 'old money' types (I'm thinking Ryann Giggs etc. not Lord Vesty)

Japveesix

2,325 posts

54 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Hmmm they 'evolve'....but they don't....'revolve'.

Looks nice enough to me, like the virage front end and good to see it getting a decent amount more power.

polar8

352 posts

88 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
AM really are taking the p155. One should read this marketing gubbings side-by-side with the Virage marketing release to realize what complete nonsense they are talking. Really have run out of cash and ideas.
Bez needs replacing.

Edited by polar8 on Wednesday 19th September 09:35

f1ten

1,003 posts

39 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
the db9 is a nice looking car but lets be honest,they havent done much to it at all...
it will be tricky to try and pick this out over the virage on the road...

polar8 said:
AM really are taking the p155. One should read this marketing gubbings side-by-side with the Virage marketing release to realize they what nonsense they are talking. Really have run out of cash and ideas.
Bez needs replacing.

DanDC5

8,934 posts

53 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Why change beauty when you can subtly enhance it? Nothing wrong with how Aston's look now, they're just getting better.

r1ch

2,410 posts

82 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Looks nice, but i'd like to see them go in a different direction styling wise.

FourWheelDrift

61,455 posts

170 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
I think I have spotted a change, they have moved the steering wheel to the passenger's side.

mitch78

958 posts

82 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
How anyone can describe current Astons as looking "dated" is beyond me. Morgans look dated, Bristols look dated, early 2011 Vauxhall Astras look dated, but the Astons? Seriously? Yes, the general Aston designs have been around a while, but they still look fresh, modern, and far more stylish than many of their competitors.
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