Aston Martin DB9
Aston Martin DB7 Aston Martin Virage
|Body style||2+2 seat 2-door coupé 2-door convertible|
|Platform||Aston Martin VH platform|
|Engine||6.0 L V12|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic and manual|
|Wheelbase||2,743 mm (108.0 in)|
|Length||4,709 mm (185.4 in)|
|Width||1,880 mm (74.0 in)|
|Height||1,270 mm (50.0 in)|
|Designer(s)||Ian Callum Henrik Fisker|
The Aston Martin DB9 is a grand tourer first shown by Aston Martin at the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show. Available both as a coupe and a convertible, the DB9 was the successor of the DB7. It was the first model built at Aston Martin's Gaydon facility.
The DB9, designed by Ian Callum and Henrik Fisker, is made of largely aluminium. The chassis is the VH platform, also found in the Aston Martin DBS. The engine, on the other hand, is the 6.0L V12 from the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. The most recent Aston Martin has a top speed of 295 km/h (183 mph) and a 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) time of 4.1 seconds.
The DB9 is rated well by car critics, who appreciate the car's interior and exterior design. Additionally, in spite of the DB9's weaker engine and handling, reviewers liked the car's ride and driving experience. They held issue with the DB9's small rear seats and cargo space and poor satnav, however.
Aston Martin Racing has adapted the DB9 for sports car racing, producing the DBR9 for FIA GT1 and the DBRS9 for FIA GT3. These two cars are lightened DB9s; the interior features are removed and the aluminium body panels are replaced by carbon fibre panels. Additionally, engine has been tweaked in both the cars to produce more horsepower. The DBR9 has won in several events, including its debut event.
Development and design
The DB9 was designed by Ian Callum and Henrik Fisker, and was first revealed at the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show. The moniker "DB" stems from the initials of David Brown, the owner of Aston Martin for a significant part of its history. Despite being the successor of the DB7, Aston Martin did not call the car the DB8 due to fears that the name would suggest that the car was equipped with only a V8 engine; the DB9 has a V12). It was also reported that Aston Martin believed that naming the car "DB8" would indicate a gradual evolution and misrepresent the car.
The DB9 is the first model to be built at Aston Martin's Gaydon facility in Warwickshire, England. In a 2007 interview, Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez stated that, though Aston Martin was traditionally a maker of more exclusive automobiles, he believed Aston Martin needed to be more visible and build more cars. At launch, Aston Martin planned to build between 1,400 and 1,500 DB9s per year.
The DB9's interior is made with leather and walnut wood. In newer editions, the leather is additionally given hand-stitched accents and joins. On the dashboard, satnav and Bluetooth come standard. A Dolby Prologic sound system can be hooked up to satellite radio, a six-CD changer, an iPod connector, a USB connector, or an auxiliary input jack. This sound system can be upgraded to a Bang & Olufsen stereo.
The coupe comes standard with two front seats and rear seats. A seating package, which removes the back seats and replaces the front seats with lighter seats made of Kevlar and carbon fibre, can be chosen. The boot is 186,891 cm3 (6.6 cu ft) in the coupe or 135,921 cm3 (4.8 cu ft) in the Volante.
Made to follow Aston's DB7 model, the DB9 is, according to Aston's initial press release, "a contemporary version of classic DB design elements and characteristics". It retains the traditional Aston Martin grille and side strakes, and the design attempts to keep the lines simple and refined. The boot of the car is pronounced, like that of the DB4 and DB5. At the front, DB9 is without a separate nose cone, and has no visible bumpers. The exterior skin is largely aluminium, though the front bumpers and bonnet are composite.
In the revised 2013 model year edition, Aston made small revisions to the bodywork, slightly changing the grille and merging the two sections of the side heat extractors into one. Additionally, Aston Martin added a rear spoiler to the DB9, which is integrated with the boot lid.
The Aston Martin DB9 was initially launched equipped with a 6.0L V12 engine, originally taken from its sister car, the V12 Vanquish. The engine provides 569 N·m (420 lbf·ft) of torque at 5,000 rpm and a maximum power of 456 PS (450 hp) at 6,000 rpm. The DB9 can accelerate from 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) in 4.7 seconds and has a top speed of 299 km/h (186 mph). The engine largely sits behind the front-axle line to improve weight distribution. Changes to the engine for the 2013 model year DB9 increased the horsepower to 517 PS (510 hp) and torque to 620 N·m (457 lbf·ft). The car's 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) time decreased to 4.1 seconds and the new top speed is 295 km/h (183 mph).
The DB9 can be equipped with either a six-speed conventional manual gearbox from Graziano or a six-speed ZF automatic gearbox featuring paddle-operated semi-automatic mode. The automatic gearbox increases the 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) time to 4.9 seconds, though the top speed remains the same. The gearbox is rear-mounted and is driven by a carbon-fiber tail shaft inside a cast aluminium torque tube.
The DB9 is the first Aston Martin model to be designed and developed on Ford's aluminium VH (vertical/horizontal) platform which also underpins Aston Martin's flagship DBS. The body structure is composed of aluminium and composites melded together by mechanically fixed self-piercing rivets and robotic assisted adhesive bonding techniques. The bonded aluminium structure is claimed to possess more than double the torsional rigidity of its predecessor's, despite being 25 percent lighter.
The DB9 also contains anti-roll bars and double wishbone suspension, supported by coil springs. To keep the back-end in control under heavy acceleration or braking, the rear suspension has additional anti-squat and anti-lift technology. The car also features three modes for the tuning: normal, for every-day use, sport, for more precise movement at the cost of ride comfort, and track, which furthers the effects of the sport setting.
The DB9 initially launched with 483 mm (19 in) wheels with a width of 216 mm (8.5 in). These were later changed to 20 in (508 mm) wheels with widths of 216 mm (8.5 in) in the front and 279 mm (11 in) in the back. The tyres are Pirelli P-Zero with codes of 245/35ZR20 and 295/30ZR20. The brakes are carbon-ceramic with six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the back.
The Aston Martin DB9 Volante is the convertible version of the DB9 coupe. The chassis, though stiffer, uses the same base VH platform. To protect occupants from rollovers, the Volante has strengthened the windshield pillars and added two pop-up hoops behind the rear seats. The hoops cannot be disabled and will break the car's rear window if deployed. In an effort to improve the Volante's ride while cruising, Aston Martin have softened the springs and lightened the anti-roll bars in the Volante, leading to a gentler suspension. The retractable roof of the Volante is made of folding fabric and takes 17 seconds to be put up or down. The Volante weighs 59 kilograms (130 pounds) more than the coupe.
The coupe and Volante both share the same semi-automatic and automatic gearboxes and engine. The car is limited to 266 km/h (165 mph) to retain the integrity of the roof. Like the coupe, the original Volante has 569 N·m (420 lbf·ft) of torque at 5,000 rpm and a maximum power of 456 PS (450 hp) at 6,000 rpm. The 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) is slowed to 4.9 seconds due to the additional weight. On newer models, like the coupe's, the Volante's horsepower and torque have increased to 517 PS (510 hp) and 620 N·m (457 lbf·ft) respectively.
To commemorate Aston Martin's GT1 victory at the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans, Aston Martin released the DB9 LM (Le Mans) in the first quarter of 2008. The DB9 LM comes standard with the DB9's optional sports pack and is only available as a semi-automatic coupe. The LM is painted Sarthe Silver, named after the Circuit de la Sarthe, where Le Mans is run, and has red brake calipers, a chromed mesh grill, and a special black leather interior, with red stitching and the Le Mans track stitched on the central consol. The car is also fitted with the DBS clear rear lights Only 124 DB9 LMs were to be made.
DB9 Carbon Black, Morning Frost, and Quantum Silver
Following the success of several special edition models of other Aston Martin cars, like the V12 Vantage Carbon Black and DBS Carbon Black, Aston Martin announced three special edition models of the DB9 in 2011: the DB9 Carbon Black, Morning Frost, and Quantum Silver. All three models are denoted by a sill plaque bearing their respective names. All three models have the same 6.0L V12 engine as the base DB9, which produces 477 PS (470 hp). All three models are available both as a coupe and a Volante.
The DB9 Carbon Black, like its name suggests, has a black paint job and interior. This includes a black center console and interior door handles on the inside, and black grills, a black tailpipe, and black 483 mm (19 in) 10-spoke wheels on the outside. The interior also has numerous add-ons to make the car more sporty, including silver stitching for the leather and a polished glass gear stick. The exhaust has been modified to create a different sound to add to the sporty feel. The Carbon Black is only available as a six-speed semi-automatic.
The DB9 Morning Frost's paint job is likewise like its name suggests: pearlescent white. However, on the inside, the Morning Frost is fitted with metallic bronze leather and a black center console and interior door handles. On the outside, the Morning Frost has silver 483 mm (19 in) 10-spoke wheels, silver brake calipers, and silver grilles. Like the Carbon Black, the DB9 Morning Frost has a six-speed semi-automatic transmission.
The DB9 Quantum Silver uses a silver paint job also found on the Aston Martin DBS in Quantum of Solace, hence its name. Inside, the Quantum Silver shares the black center console and leather. On the outside, it also has black grills and 483 mm (19 in) wheels. The Quantum Silver has the same semi-automatic transmission as its counterparts, and shares a modified sports exhaust with the Carbon Black.