For my money, this is probably the most beautiful
design in current automobiles. No wings and air dams appearing as
carbon-fibre add-ons. Just pure symmetry of line. If you want to be a
trendsetter, this is the vehicle for you. Forget Ferrari, forget
Porsche and Bentley. Order a DB9.
Aston Martin began with a chap called Martin, and
they used to run the cars up the Aston Clinton hill climb, and became
Aston Martins. Saved from extinction in 1933 by a titled gentleman,
Sir Arthur Sutherland KBE, and again in 1947 by wealthy industrialist
David Brown (who gave the Aston Martins their ‘DB’ model
insignia), the company was later saved by the Ford Motor Company, who
had also picked up Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover, to then put all these
brands together under the Premier Automotive Group (PAG) umbrella.
howls of outrage from enthusiasts world-wide, the DB9 V12 is
spearheading the resurgence of the marque. The DB9 is built on an
all-new VH platform with twice the rigidity of the old model. VH
stands for Vertical Horizontal, and this platform is exclusive to
The DB9 features a bonded aluminium frame, on to
which the body panels and everything else is bolted. Almost a return
to classical body and chassis concept, though this time the
‘chassis’ is vertical, as well as being horizontal. Since the body
panels are no longer needed to give rigidity to the vehicle’s
structure, it become easy to make styling changes for different
variations on the DB9 theme - even an open topped model, the DB9
Volante, due later this year.
The DB9 has a six litre V12 up front, but brought
as far back as possible to end up with a 50/50 weight distribution
between front and rear axles. This is Aston Martin’s own engine, but
has been re-engineered for the DB9, with a new crankshaft, cams,
manifold, and engine-management system for more midrange torque. For a
relatively light car, coming through the extensive use of aluminium,
the torque figure of 567 Nm is more than enough to keep a push in your
back through to its top whack of a smidgin under 300 kph.
The ZF semi-manual gearbox is in this application
called Touchtronic 2 (shades of Porsche’s Tiptronic), so that it can
be used like a manual, but without a clutch pedal. It has all the
electronic ‘smarts’ so that when you are downshifting it gives the
engine that professional ‘blip’ to synchronize the revs, and if
you insist, it will hold any gear right the way through to red-line.
However, for most people, it will be a case of selecting one of the
auto drive modes and just enjoy the smoothness that this car offers.
Reports from critical scribes such as in the UK Top
Gear programme and from respected motor-noter Peter Robinson all are
in agreement that this is the best engineered Aston Martin ever.
“There is room for Aston Martin to drive a wedge between sports cars
like the Ferrari 360 Modena and GT models like the Bentley
Continental,” says Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez.
This Aston Martin is already one of the most
exclusive sports cars in the world. For the trend-setters, I would
suggest that you not wait for James Bond to add his armaments and
accessories to this DB9. It has enough already! Place your order
Vehicle type: front engine, rear wheel drive, 2+2
passenger, 2 door coupe
Estimated base price: USD 155,000 (expect well over
20 million baht here)
Engine: DOHC 48 valve V 12, aluminium block and
Displacement: 362 cu in (5935cc)
Power (SAE net): 444 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 420 lb ft @ 5000 rpm (567 Nm)
Zero to 100 kph: 4.7 (manual), 4.9 sec (auto)
Zero to 160 kph: 10.8 (manual), 10.9 sec (auto)
Top speed: 297 kph