The Aston Martin DB9 was destined to become one of the gold standards among high-end sports cars from its inception. Building on decades of expertise, Aston Martin gave the DB9 not only outstanding performance and power, but also a high level of driver and passenger comfort. Built with a remarkable power-to-weight ratio, the DB9's amazing stability stems from the mid-front positioning of its engine. The DB9 is the embodiment of old-world craftsmanship, new-age components and exemplary handling and power.
The mechanical aspects of the DB9 cannot be overstressed. The all-alloy, 48-valve, quad overhead cam, 5.9-liter, V12 engine puts out 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 443 foot-pounds of torque at 5,000 rpm thanks to its 10.9:1 compression ratio. In real terms, the superb power plant gives the DB9 a top speed of 190 mph. Of course, such a speeding beast needs to stop sometimes. The ABS is paired with ventilated, grooved front- and rear-disc brakes to ensure reliable slowing and stopping.
Beginning in 2003, Aston Martin commenced operating from its new facility in Gaydon, Hartwickshire, UK, and the DB9 was the first model produced there. It replaces the venerable DB7, which was taken out of production a few years earlier. The V12 engine was a radical departure from the Jaguar-based DB7. Overall, the vehicle compared favorably with other makers' products in the same class, such as the Bentley Continental GT, the Jaguar XKT and the Mercedes SL. The DB9 underwent cosmetic surgery in 2008 with an even more powerful engine and some refinements to the exterior.
The DB9's interior speaks of unbridled luxury. Gleaming wood and buttery leather are the keynotes that provide a sense of sitting inside an exclusive social club rather than an automobile. However, the car also features cutting-edge consumer electronics, including a GPS unit that slides out of sight when not in use to eliminate clutter. The exterior, since 2008, features a wider grille, clear taillights, more aerodynamic mirrors and a buffet of wheel configurations for customers to choose from. In 2011, the fascia, headlights, taillights and wheels received some updating.
The DB9 received rave reviews from the British auto show Top Gear for its clean and lethal elegance. More often, this car has strutted its stuff in fine company on the race course. In its debut at the 2005 12 Hours of Sebring, a race-modified version occupied the winner's circle. The DB9 also bested its competitors at the American Le Mans series, the French Le Mans series, the FIA GT Championship, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
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