Road test and review of the 2014 Aston Martin DB9…
The Aston Martin DB9 has undergone its most significant update in recent history, cementing itself as one of Aston Martin’s finest vehicles.
70 percent of the DB9’s body panels are new, with several items such as the headlights carried over from the outgoing Virage model.
The DB9 sits in the middle of Aston Martin’s range and was designed as the ultimate Grant Tourer.
It’s the definition of style and the most affordable way to buy into a four-seat Aston Martin.
It’s impossible to call the design anything but stunning.
Sleek running lines, hints of carbon fibre and beautiful visual cues turn heads everywhere the car goes.
Even the door handles aim to captivate, requiring a push to release the handle and a pull to open the door.
Aston Martin engineers worked to develop a system that avoids door damage on high curbs.
The system they engineered allows the door to open outwards and upwards on a gas strut to sit higher than the curb.
Inside the cabin, the rich smell of leather is intoxicating, with leather covering almost every visible surface.
Instead of a regular gear shifter, the DB9 uses glass buttons mounted to the dashboard, while the key is cast from a single glass piece and inserted into the dashboard to start the car.
Another interesting feature is the inverted tachometer that spins anti-clockwise, as opposed to clockwise in most other cars on the market.
Custom colour combinations are now available during order that allow buyers to select different colours for the seats, dashboard and leather stitching.
Despite excellent leg and headroom in the front two seats, the rear seats are quite cramped and limited to children.
Audiophiles will instantly fall in love with the optional Bang and Olufsen, 1000W sound system.
Featuring an array of speakers and omnidirectional tweeters, it is without doubt one of the best sound systems on the market.
Satellite navigation is now much easier to use with an integrated Garmin navigation system designed to fit neatly above the gear selectors and controlled by a joystick at the bottom of the dashboard.
Under the bonnet, Aston Martin has extracted more power from the 6.0-litre V12 engine by implementing dual variable valve timing, larger throttle bodies, and a new fuel pump, along with a revised block, machined cylinders, and a new intake manifold.
Power has jumped 30kW from 350kW to 380kW, while torque has increased from 601Nm to 620Nm.
The stunning engine is mated to a single-clutch six-speed automatic gearbox and mechanical limited-slip differential, which helps maximise traction during cornering.
While fuel use isn’t top of mind for an Aston Martin buyer — it’s always handy to know how many trees you should plant after each drive.
On the combined cycle, the DB9 consumes 14.3L/100km in hardtop and soft-top form.
Driving the DB9 is more of an experience than a chore.
Masses of torque available low in the rev range allow the car to surge forward with only a hint of throttle input.
In fact, you won’t find many situations where the gearbox needs to kick down and go wild in the search for speed.
But, if you do feel the need for speed, simply hit the Sport button and hold on.
In Sport mode, the gearbox takes on a radical demeanour and gives the driver an opportunity to stretch the DB9’s legs.
As the tachometer moves past 3,000RPM, a raucous exhaust note bellows through the cabin.
The sweet and meaty note is unique to Aston Martin’s V12 and is impossible to miss as a V12 Aston Martin flies by.
Gears can be manually selected using static paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel.
The 0-100km/h dash takes all of 4.6-seconds, despite the DB9’s portly 1,890kg mass.
Steering and brake feel is excellent.
The updated DB9 comes with carbon ceramic brakes that allow enthusiastic driving without the inherent issue of brake fade.
The ride and handling is spot on for regular driving, featuring a supple ride that can be adjusted at the push of a button.
The firmer ride settings ensure that body roll is eliminated during cornering and faster driving.
Priced from $345,500 for the two-door, four-seat DB9 coupe, the convertible DB9 is priced at $380,500.
Aston Martin’s restyled DB9 now offers added value for money, a blissful engine and performance characteristics to match its beautiful styling.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 5.9 litre V12 delivering 380kW and 620Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: 3 years
Origin: United Kingdom
Price: From $345,500