The Aston Martin DB9 comes in two variants; the coupé and ‘Volante’ convertible, each producing 470 bhp (350 kW; 477 PS) from a 5.9L V12 engine, originally taken from its sister car the V12 Vanquish. In fact, this V12 engine is why Aston Martin did not call the car the DB8, which could suggest that it has only a V8 engine. 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. The Gaydon facility’s production capacity for the DB9 could allow for approximately five thousand units per year, which is roughly the same production volume as other esteemed sports cars, in particular the Ferrari F430 and Porsche 911 Turbo. The DB9, however, is more often compared against other competitors in its segment: the Ian Callum designed Jaguar XKR, the Volkswagen-produced Bentley Continental GT, the ten-cylinder powered BMW M6, and the AMG variants of the Mercedes-Benz SL. Traditionally being a maker of more exclusive automobiles, CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez assures Aston Martin loyalists that production numbers of the DB9 will be slightly higher than previous models; however, Aston Martin will still retain only a small statistical percentage of the high-end sports car market.
The DB9 is the first Aston Martin model to be designed and developed upon Ford’s aluminum VH (vertical/horizontal) platform. The body structure is composed of aluminum and composites melded together by mechanically fixed self-piercing rivets and robotic assisted adhesive bonding techniques. The innovative bonded aluminum structure possesses more than double the torsional rigidity of its predecessor’s, despite being 25 percent lighter. Aston Martin’s engineers designed the quad-cam, 48-valve engine for the V12 Vanquish in collaboration with Ford’s Research and Vehicle Technology team (RVT) and were able to reduce its weight by 11.8kgs (26lb) for use in the DB9.
- Base Price: $187,000 Coupe; $200,000 Volante convertible
- Power: 476 PS (350 kW; 469 hp)514 bhp @ 6000 rpm
- Torque: 600 N·m (443 lb·ft) @ 5000 rpm
- Weight: 1,760 kg (3,880 lb)
- 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h): 4.6 seconds
- 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph): 4.7 seconds
- Top Speed: 299 km/h (186 mph)
For model year 2009, both the Coupé and Volante were updated. The engine was tweaked to produce 470 hp (350 kW; 480 PS) (up from 450), and the center console was adjusted to match more closely with the newer DBS model. Primary revisions include the updated ‘Touchtronic 2’ automatic paddle-shift transmission, firmer suspension, revised interior trim and seats, as well as the key and start-up procedure of the DBS, namely, the Emotional Control Unit. Additionally, a Bang & Olufsen audio system option replaces the previous Linn hi-fi audio system option from prior years.
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 litre, DOHC 48 valve V12 as the DB9 and is completed with 470 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 coupe. 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 Graziano-sourced six speed manual or the ZF-sourced six speed ‘Touchtronic 2’ automatic. The DB9 Volante is famously featured in the television show ‘Desperate Housewives‘ and is driven by Eva Longoria‘s character. It is also featured in the hitshow Entourage, where it, in first, is driven by the whole ‘gang’ and later only by Eric.
In order to commemorate Aston Martin’s victory at the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans, a special edition of the DB9 was released. Known as the DB9 LM, the car is limited to only 124 examples. All are coupes, and will only be available in a unique color known as Sarthe Silver, named in honor of the Circuit de la Sarthe, where Le Mans is run. The Sports Pack is included, while the brake calipers are painted red and a chromed mesh grill are added.
The DB9 has been adapted for use in sports car racing by Prodrive. Initially the DBR9 was launched prior to the 2005 season, running in the ACO and FIA‘s GT1 class. It retains the DB9’s 5.9 litre V12 engine, but has been extensively modified to decrease its weight as well as to improve performance. The DBR9 won in its debut at the 2005 12 Hours of Sebring, and has gone on to take wins in the American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series, FIA GT Championship, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Along with the DBR9, a DBRS9 variant was also developed. This car runs in the GT3 category, mostly used for small national championships as well as the FIA GT3 European Championship. The DBRS9 also uses the standard V12, but is not as highly tuned as the unit in the DBR9. Bodywork modifications are also more subdued.
It weighs 1 tonne and does 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds with a top speed estimated at 200 mph