The DB9 is the first new car to be built at Aston’s Gaydon facility. The name “DB” stems from David Brown, the owner of Aston Martin for a sizeable part of its history. The DB9, which was designed by Ian Callum and finished by his successor, Henrik Fisker, superseded the now-discontinued Aston Martin DB7 (also by Callum) which started production in 1994.
The DB9 comes in two variants; coupé and “Volante” convertible, each producing 450 bhp (335 kW) coming from a 6l V12 engine taken from its sister car the V12 Vanquish. The Vanquish engine produces 10 bhp (7 kW) more. In fact, this V12 engine is why Aston Martin did not call the car the DB8, which could suggest that it has only eight cylinders. One report states that Aston Martin believed that this car was such a huge leap from the Jaguar XJ-S based DB7 that it named it DB9 instead of DB8, which they thought would indicate a gradual evolution. As of 2004 production is expected be up to five thousand units a year which is roughly the same as its rivals, in particular the Ferrari F430 and Porsche 911 Turbo. This car was designed to ensure Aston Martin’s continued survival into 21st century in light of its past financial troubles. Traditionally being a maker of more exclusive automobiles, CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez assures Aston loyalists that production numbers of the new DB9 will be slightly higher than previous models; however, the Aston will still retain only a small statistical percentage of the high-end sports car market.
The car has an artificial neural network implemented at the hardware level to detect engine misfires.
In 2006, Aston Martin introduced a “Sports Pack” for the DB9, which includes increased structural stiffness, lighter 19-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels complete with titanium wheel nuts, 6 mm (0.2 in) lower ride height, as well as revised spring and damper rates.
The Aston Martin DB9 Volante is the convertible version of the DB9 coupe. It is built by hand in limited numbers and has enhanced styling. It is powered by the same 5.9 liter, DOHC 48 valve V12 as the DB9 and is completed with 450 bhp (331 kW) and a top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h). Because it is a convertible it will do 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, two-tenths of a second slower than the hard top. The Volante is taller than the hardtop, standing at 51.2 inches (1,300 mm) compared to 50.1 inches (1,270 mm). The transmission options are either the 6 speed manual or the 6 speed TipTronic II automatic.
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To commemorate the company’s recent racing successes, Aston Martin will be revealing the DB9 LM along with the DBS and the V8 Vantage N400 in the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. The DB9 LM commemorates Aston’s GT1 class victory in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 2007.
Only available as a coupe and with touchtronic transmission, the car features the optional DB9 sports pack as standard. Sarthe Silver paint, smoked chrome mesh grilles and red brake callipers complete the look on the outside, while perforated leather and a numbered plaque adorn the cabin.
Main articles: Aston Martin DBR9 and Aston Martin DBRS9
The car has been adapted for sports car racing by Prodrive. The DBR9, as it is called, first saw competition at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2005 and won the LMGT1 category, but was beaten by arch-rivals Corvette Racing in the Le Mans GT1 class.Victory was finally achieved in 2007 when DBR9, piloted by David Brabham, Rickard Rydell and Darren Turner won first in class and fifth overall at the 24 hour classic.
On BBC’s Top Gear, presenter Jeremy Clarkson raced an Aston DB9 against James and Richard (other presenters) using public transport (including a TGV) from Guildford in Surrey to Monte Carlo, with the DB9 winning by a few minutes; though this was only due to rules that disadvantaged James and Richard who were not allowed to use any cars including taxis. During the race, Clarkson proclaimed the DB9 to be “motoring perfection”. This comment was topped when a new section had to be added to ‘The Cool Wall’, which rates the respectability of cars from ‘Seriously Uncool’ to ‘Sub-Zero’. A fridge was added for the DB9 as it was thought to be cooler than any other car on the wall. Since then the DB9 has been joined in the “fridge” by the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and it remains there even though it was purchased, in the meantime, by Clarkson (Cool Wall rules state that cars owned by any of the show’s presenters are deemed Uncool).
Despite not being present on the Power Lap board, it had been driven to a lap time of 1:27.1—exactly the same time as the Vanquish S, which costs nearly £60,000 more and exceeds the DB9′s power by 60 bhp (45 kW). Clarkson remarked that the DB9 was the better buy because it is equally fast as the Vanquish, costs less, and has a much-improved gearbox. In the ’2006 Supercars’ special edition of Top Gear magazine, it was a contestant for car of the year.