Aston Martin updates its DB9 for 2013 model year. The styling changes see Aston Martin 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. 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. 2013 DB9 also features Aston Martin’s integrated side strake and LED side-repeaters.
Inside, as out, the revised DB9 becomes yet more elegant and more luxurious. For instance, DB9 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.
Aston Martin 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.
The Aston Martin DB9 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.
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′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 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.
Two Carbon Packs are introduced on DB9, one exterior and one interior. 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 2013 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.
Aston Martin DB9 2013 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).