A sleeker appearance, more underhood might and loads of enhanced technology add even more appeal to the comprehensively revamped 2013 Aston Martin DB9 lineup. Borrowing a number of design elements from AM's upcoming Vanquish Super GT as well as the pricier but slow-selling Virage -- which has now been mustered out of production -- the new DB9 makes a far stronger and even more elegant total performance statement in both Coupe and Volante Convertible body styles while simplifying the automaker's lineup.
Keeping up appearances
Visual changes to the 2013 Aston Martin DB9's exterior serve to effectively reinforce its enhanced dynamic capabilities. While a restyled front fascia/grille/splitter, more deeply sculpted side sills and revised fender strakes directly recall cues from the now-departed Virage, the DB9's handsome profile does feature a revised hood and a new, more aggressively contoured decklid "flip" that improves its high-speed aerodynamics on both the fixed and drop-top variants. Collectively, the modifications impart a lower, wider look to the car that's set off with tasteful trim elements, standard bi-xenon headlamps and 20-inch cast-alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero performance tires -- 245/355 up front and 293/30 in the rear.
The DB9's already plush cabin also gets even more inviting for 2013. It's full-grain leather features the elegant hand-stitched "welt" element first seen in the Virage, complemented by rich walnut veneers, jewel-like glass switchgear - including Aston's signature crystal key - and a comprehensive array of standard equipment that encompasses everything from satellite navigation and a 700-watt Aston Martin Premium audio system with satellite radio to dual-zone auto climate control and a Rear Parking Assist Camera.
Engineered to exceed
In the case of the 2013 Aston Martin DB9, what you don't see is as critical as what you do. Both the engine and the chassis have undergone significant upgrades that borrow key bits of the automaker's Gen4 "VH" platform architecture and component technology to improve acceleration and handling characteristics. For openers, the DB9's 6.0-liter naturally-aspirated V12 - now dubbed AM11 and positioned even lower in the cradle -- has been heavily revised, gaining a revamped block, new cylinder heads, dual variable valve timing, bigger throttle bodies, an uprated fuel pump and a new intake manifold. Those changes help boost output from 470 to 510 horsepower and peak torque from 433 to 457 lb-ft. While the new AM11 still drives the rear wheels via the existing 6-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission, the DB9 Coupe can now run 0-62 mph in just 4.6 seconds and top out at 183 mph.
To help put that added firepower to best use, the DB9's chassis received a similar level of focused change. While its bonded-aluminum tub does not get the carbon-fiber enhanced elements of the Gen4 VH structure that will be used in the top-line Vanquish, it does feature an upgraded version of Aston's tri-mode (Normal/Sport/Track) Adaptive Damping System and comes standard with Brembo-sourced Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) discs and calipers. In addition to providing superior stopping power and greater resistance to fade, these new high-tech binders also are over 27 pounds lighter than the steel units found in the current DB9.
Maintaining its longstanding link with tradition, the 2013 Aston Martin DB9 also offers a number of premium options and personalization touches. Heading the list are a 1000-watt Bang & Olfsun BeoSound premium audio system, 2+0 seating for the Coupe that eliminates its rear mini-perches and replaces the front buckets with a pair of superlight carbon fiber/Kevlar sport alternatives, Exterior/Interior Carbon Fiber trim packs, a leather headliner and an assortment of custom interior trim elements.
Pricing for the 2013 Aston Martin DB9 Coupe begins at $187,515 while the 2013 Aston Martin DB9 Volante Convertible starts at $202,515. Both will arrive in showrooms here this November.