Rip-roaring V12; good ride and sophisticated suspension; nicely executed Volante convertible; handsome looks and exotic appeal
The DB9 remains offered in coupe and convertible (Volante) forms. With the Volante, a little trunk space is sacrificed and refinement for a well-insulated soft top that can tuck itself away in about 17 seconds.
In either case, the DB9's 470-horsepower, 5.9L V12 engine does not disappoint--especially considering its soundtrack. The engine produces up to 443 pound-feet of torque and is hooked up to a 6-speed automatic transmission or 6-speed manual gearbox--both of which include a limited-slip differential. Aston Martin claims a top speed of 190 mph, and a 0-60-mph time of 4.6 seconds with the manual transmission. Automatic versions include magnesium paddle-shifters.
The DB9 manages to have a forgiving, smooth, and surprisingly comfortable ride, thanks to an adaptive damping system (with a separate performance-oriented Sport Mode) and specially tuned suspension bushings, in addition to the aluminum double-wishbone suspension layout in front and in back. Z-rated performance tires on 19-inch wheels are standard, and a speed-sensitive hydraulic power-steering system provides confidence whether in the parking garage or at triple-digit speeds. And strong stopping power is included in all DB9s, with ventilated discs on all four wheels plus four-piston calipers.
The cabin is trimmed in hand-stitched leather, with real wood or metal as well, while the center console itself is constructed in zinc. A new Bang & Olufsen sound system is available, and Bluetooth connectivity is included.
Other interior appointments include satellite radio, a hard-disk-based navigation system, heated seats, rear parking sensors, and automatic climate control. The Volante model includes an automatically deployable roll-bar system for rollover protection.
Customization is a key part of ownership for cars such as the DB9. A wide range of interior wood trims are offered, including mahogany, bamboo and Tamo Ash woodgrains, or Piano Black or bright-finish schemes. There are also showier graphite-finish wheels on offer.
The Aston Martin DB9 got a significant refresh for 2009, with more power, revised styling, and a bolstered feature list. For 2011, it gets a few more minor updates--most notably a new adaptive damping system with Sport Mode, and available Bang & Olufsen audio, plus new 20-spoke alloy wheels.
The Aston Martin DB9 is a relatively rare sight, and that rarity, as well as its steeper price, makes it a step more exotic than a Mercedes-Benz SL or the Audi R8, and in the same realm as the Lamborghini Gallardo and the Ferrari California.
With an emphasis on well-rounded performance plus long-distance travel potential, it's more an exotic grand-tourer than an all-out sports car.
But as with most exotic cars, it's probably the sexy shape that counts most (the DB9 has it), followed closely by a sporty, exotic powertrain--and for that, the DB9's 470-horsepower, V12 also counts. Compared to a number of other edgy supercars, the DB9 offers a little more comfort--thanks to sophistication and fine-tuning, not outright softness.
Vehicle Price: 202,730.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
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