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First Drive: Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.

First Drive: Aston Martin DB9
Aston Martin updates its DB9 with adaptive damping and other enhancements.

 



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| First Drive | Gaydon, England | Aston Martin DB9 |

Since the DB9 was introduced in 2003 Aston Martin has been busy. So busy it has largely ignored its beautiful grand tourer. This revised-for-2010 model changes that, with more equipment, mild styling revisions and standard fitment of Aston's Adaptive Damping System.

In the Metal

It might be seven years old, but the DB9 remains a head turner. Visual revisions for the 2010 car include new headlamp bezels, a reshaped front bumper with hexagonal lower and bright finish upper grilles, clear rear light clusters, revised sills in front of the rear wheels and new alloys behind which sit silver-painted brake callipers. It's all very subtle, which is hardly surprising given the praise heaped on the DB9's design.

Inside remains much the same too, with leather covering most surfaces and Aston's now signature mirrored look (and action of its reversed rev counter) instruments creating a lovely driving environment. It's a 2+2 in the best tradition, which means forget carrying people in the back for all but the very shortest of trips.

What you get for your Money

Aside from all that leather inside, and the head-turning looks, the DB9 comes with a 6.0-litre V12 engine that develops 470bhp and 442lb.ft of torque - enough to allow the DB9 to reach 62mph in 4.8 seconds and a 190mph maximum. An Adaptive Damping System now comes as standard, giving you the choice of the default comfort setting and a more focused sport mode.

Driving it

That it drives much like any Aston DB9 we've experienced before isn't really a surprise, as the revisions to the mechanicals are restricted to the suspension. The Adaptive Damping System used to be part of a DB9 Sport Pack upgrade. In its regular comfort mode it rides with composure and control, the UK's poor road surfaces meaning opportunities to use the stiffer sport setting are relatively few. Do so and you feel the change by an increase in vertical movement. It's fine on smooth roads, but otherwise it just adds an extra layer of intrusion from outside.

Leave it alone in 'comfort' and the DB9 is as accomplished as it ever was. It's effortlessly fast, the Touchtronic six-speed automatic (with paddle shifters) swapping ratios with speed and precision. The V12 remains a real draw, too. It's particularly adept at trickling along quietly in the background, with the knowledge that pushing the accelerator to the floor provides quite shocking pace. It sounds great when it's pushed too, filling the luxury cabin with a rich V12 resonance. The steering is quick and light, meaning that the DB9 feels surprisingly wieldy despite its size.

Worth Noting

New standard equipment includes a tyre pressure monitoring system and revised Bluetooth telephone system with new options including a BeoSound audio system from Bang & Olufsen as well as new finishes to the metal trim parts inside. Both the coupé and Volante (convertible) models get the 2010 changes.

Summary

It's been easy to overlook the DB9 given the steady stream of models Aston Martin has introduced since its debut. The revisions give us an excuse to revisit the good-looking grand tourer and its appeal remains much the same as it ever was. If you're seduced by the looks, want a grand tourer and have £122,445 to spend then the DB9 remains a beguiling choice.

Words: Kyle Fortune. Photography: Max Earey - 6 Aug 2010









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2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.

2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.



2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Aston Martin DB9. Image by Max Earey.
 






 

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