Aston Martin revives DB9
Aston's 'brand-sharpening' exercise continues
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
“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.
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?
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)
it will be tricky to try and pick this out over the virage on the road...
Bez needs replacing.