New & Used Aston Martin DB9: In Depth
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The Aston Martin DB9, with its 510-horsepower V-12 and $180,000 price tag, lives in a rarefied world with few real rivals. The two-door, four-seat DB9 is a stylish, luxurious grand-tourer atop the Aston Martin range that includes the Vanquish, Rapide and Vantage.
The DB9 can be had in either hardtop coupe or "Volante" soft-top convertible form.
For more information, including more photos and specifications, follow our 2014 Aston Martin DB9 page.
Aston debuted the DB9 in 2004 as a 2005 model in the U.S. market. It replaced the DB7 and brought a lightweight aluminum body to replace the old car's steel structure. The DB9 was one of the first to be based on Aston's now-prolific VH modular platform, which has underpinned all of its recent models save for the Toyota-based Cygnet microcar. Aston was owned by Ford when the DB9 was designed and released, and like its cousin at Jaguar the company made great strides in increasing body rigidity.
The work paid off when the lightweight structure was mated with the DB9's 450-horsepower V-12 engine. The transmission then was a ZF six-speed automatic with steering-wheel controls. The DB9 also featured an aluminum control-arm suspension and big, 19-inch wheels and tires, as well as a host of electronic safety systems such as stability control--making it the most sophisticated Aston Martin product to date.
Performance in those first years was stunning, if not quite to the level of Porsche or Ferrari four-seaters to come. The DB9 could hit 60 mph in under 5 seconds and continue on to a 180-mph top speed.
In 2011, the Aston Martin DB9 saw some of its most comprehensive updates since launch. A new grille design and a new front bumper refreshed the look, along with clear taillamp lenses and 20-inch wheels. The V-12 engine was massaged to 470 hp and 442 pound-feet of torque, mated to the paddle-shifted automatic, while 0–60 mph times dropped to under 4.6 seconds. An adaptive suspension became available, allowing ride comfort and response to be switched between sport and comfort modes. Tire-pressure monitors were added, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system offered audiophile-quality sound.
Aston Martin introduced the Virage in 2012. It was a strikingly similar car to the DB9 but with slight powertrain differences and some exterior styling cues derived from Aston's One-77 supercar. It had been intended as a companion piece--or replacement--for the DB9, but after just a year of availability, Aston Martin withdrew it. The following year, Aston introduced a refreshed DB9 for the 2013 model year, borrowing heavily from the Virage's look and mechanical set.
Today's Aston Martin DB9 has inherited some of the Virage's details--LED side repeaters and grille, mostly. The powertrain is still a V-12, but it supersedes even the one in the Virage, with 510 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. The interior offers the same hand-stitched leather as the Virage and some glass switchgear--even a pop-out pen in the console. Special Carbon Black and Carbon White editions of the DB9 offer more performance-inspired exterior and interior style while retaining the DB9's hallmark design cues and the same chassis and powertrain as the other models.
Both coupe and Volante (convertible) versions are available, in either standard or Carbon Edition trim, with base prices in the high $180,000 range and stretching well above $200,000 with a long list of options. Aston also offers a bespoke program, called Q by Aston Martin, that caters to the needs and wants of its customers through customized paint, interior, and trim.