The first car to be built in Aston Martin’s new factory at Gaydon in Warwickshire was the 2+2 DB9, a direct successor to DB7. The new car was considered to be such an advance on the old that Aston Martin had decided a straightforward sequential numbering would be considered inappropriate, hence why it was not titled DB8.
DB9 launched to acclaim in 2003 at the Frankfurt Motor Show with a Volante following in 2004. Powered by a V12 engine, this was also the first Aston Martin to be developed on the VH (Vertical / Horizontal) Platform which underpinned all Gaydon produced cars.
It was all new, designed from the ground up, the fruit of a million-mile test programme that had seen prototypes proved in locations as diverse as Death Valley in the USA, inside the Arctic Circle in Sweden and on the high-speed test track at Nardo in Italy. Other tests had taken place on Ford’s renowned Lommel proving ground in Belgium and at the Volvo crash test safety centre in Sweden.
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Amazingly, DB9 was such an advance over DB7 that its bodyshell weighed 25 per cent less yet had twice the torsional rigidity, thanks to its aluminium bonnet, roof and rear wings and composite construction front wings and boot lid.
Following iterations of DB9 continued to improve the Aston Martin flagship. A powerful AM11 V12 engine increased power to 517 ps, with torque of up to 620 NM. Advanced carbon ceramic brakes gave DB9 a better response with a longer life, as well as improved performance with virtually no fade.
5,935cc V12, All-Alloy Quad Overhead Cam, 48 Valve, 510 bhp @ 6,500 RPM
Front: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs – 398 mm diameter with six-piston monobloc calipers Rear: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs – 360 mm diameter with four-piston monobloc calipers
Rear Mid-Mounted ‘Touchtronic 2’ Six-Speed Transmission With Electronic Shift-By-Wire Control System
Front: independent double wishbone incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers Rear: independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, dual-rate coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
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