ASTON MARTIN DB9 REVIEW

The Aston Martin DB9 first broke cover in 2003 when it was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, and was intended as a grand tourer to replace the now dated Aston Martin DB7 – a car that left big shoes to fill. Designed by Henrik Fisker and Ian Callum, it shares styling cues with the rest of the Aston Martin models of the period, including the signature grille and flush-fitting door handles. Production of the new supercar began in 2004, and it was the first Aston Martin to be built at the firm’s Gaydon base.

 

The DB9 was a step leap ahead of the outgoing DB7 model in almost every respect, being constructed largely of aluminium and sharing its chassis with the DBS. This allowed the chassis to be twice as strong as that used in the DB7, but weigh 25 per cent less. The engine is a 6-litre V12 unit sourced from the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish and is capable of hurtling the latest iteration to 187mph in a dizzying 4.1 seconds. Early cars shared the same engine, but in a lower state of tune, producing 450bhp as opposed to the latest car’s 510bhp.

If top-down motoring is more your scene, then the DB9 Volante should be the car to go for. Still based on Ford’s aluminium chassis, it features extra strengthening to account for the rigidity provided by the coupe’s roof. Additional bracing was also added to the windscreen pillars and, in the event of a crash, two rollover hoops spring from the rear seats. Weighing 59kg more than the coupe model, the Volante was never going to have the same performance. In recognition of this, Aston Martin designed the suspension in a lesser state of tune to improve the ride quality. It was assumed the Volante would be for boulevard cruising, rather than out-and-out track action. The engine upgrades occurred at the same time as the coupe models.

Earlier cars are generally accepted to be not as good as later models, with many claiming that the suspension setup was greatly improved in later years.

Service history is everything with these cars – you will struggle to sell one with anything less than full service history from a main dealer. This means you must demand it when thinking of buying. You’ll want to see a full file bursting with receipts. Check for any signs that money hasn’t been thrown at the car – cheap or worn tyres are a dead giveaway. Don’t underestimate the cost of servicing either – check that its just been done.

 

VITAL STATISTICS

ENGINE 5935cc/12-cyl/DOHC

POWER 450bhp@6000rpm

TORQUE 420lb ft@5000rpm

TOP SPEED 186mph

0-60MPH 4.7secs

ECONOMY 17mpg

GEARBOX 6-speed manual

 

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