By Keith Buglewicz
In the world of exotic supercars, few hold the elegance and gravitas of the 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT coupe and convertible. Playing more in a league with Ferrari and Bentley than Audi and BMW, the DB9 GT fits comfortably between the company’s other coupes, the Vantage and Vanquish. But, the DB9 GT holds a special spot in the hearts of its admirers, partly because of its association with a certain fictitious spy and partly because the DB9 line just excels at the things Aston Martin fans love best about the brand. More grand touring car than all-out performance machine, the DB9 GT’s 540-horsepower V12 engine nevertheless makes it a car that gets noticed, as does its nearly $205,000 starting price.
If you’re drawn to the understated elegance that is all things British, the 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT satisfies a need for sophistication in a stunning 2+2 grand touring coupe with a rich history and a limited production.
If you’re looking for a supercar with an extensive dealer network and a price tag closer to the $100,000 range, a Porsche 911, BMW M6 Series or an Audi R8 is nearly as satisfying, although nowhere near as exclusive.
The 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT replaces last year’s DB9, adding 30 additional horsepower, a sport exhaust, new 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels and a number of GT-specific color and styling changes. Also new is the AMi II infotainment system.
Sure, Aston Martin’s DB9 GT for 2016 can rocket to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 180 mph; so can a lot of...
... other cars, some even faster. What makes these numbers so magical in the DB9 GT is the addition of a sultry body, a gorgeous interior and pedigree that makes gearheads’ knees go weak regardless of their country of origin. This grand touring automobile effortlessly glides over the road with progressive steering feel that offers just the right amount of feedback and assist. The 3-stage Active Damping System firms the suspension in tight corners and relaxes it when the pavement unwinds. Interior craftsmanship is superb with leather covering nearly every surface. If the DB9 GT has one area in need of improvement, it’s the 6-speed transmission, which works fine as an automatic but reacts slowly when switched to manual mode.
BANG & OLUFSEN BeoSound AUDIO
Car audio runs the gamut from awful to awesome. The 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT’s Bang & Olufsen BeoSound setup definitely is not awful. For music lovers and audiophiles, this optional upgrade is worth every penny.
In a world of instant celebrity and reality TV, why not get in on the hype? A number of little 007 cues (like Spectre silver paint and “007” doorsill plates) tell everyone you not only drive one of the most desirable cars on the planet, you might also just work for MI6.
The Aston Martin DB9 GT’s interior offers the standard luxuries like glass switches and quilted trappings now adorned in Glen Coe fluted leather. Also onboard is an Iridium trim pack and Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel (coupe only). Optional upgrades include Duotone leather seating. Aston Martin calls the DB9 GT’s key an “Emotional Control Unit,” and it slides into a slot on the dash between the transmission selector buttons. The center console, however, looks a bit dated, and the handbrake is oddly placed to the left of the driver.
It's hard to overstate how striking the DB9 GT is in person. The low profile, long hood and toned muscles of its big rear fenders strike a portrait of elegance and strength. A black-painted splitter, black-anodized brake calipers, new 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels and revised headlight and taillight treatments round out the GT’s look. The accents blend in with the rest of the car's styling details, like the sweeping headlights, and avoid looking tacked on. Volante convertible models substitute a power-operated fabric top for the coupe's low-slung metal roof.
The 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT comes with a V12 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, exceptional carbon-ceramic brakes and 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Pirelli P Zero tires. Inside are full-grain leather, heated front seats, satellite navigation system and 700-watt sound system with 6-disc changer, AMi II infotainment system, integrated iPod controller and USB/auxiliary inputs. Front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera will help you maneuver your supercar in tight spots. The Volante convertible adds a power-operated soft top with a glass rear window.
Options for Aston Martin’s 2016 DB9 GT include the aforementioned Bang & Olufsen audio system, a rear-seat delete option -- which turns the 2+2 GT into a pure 2-seater -- satellite radio and various wheel choices. You can also add color-contrast stitching, various center console finishes, Duotone seats, carbon-fiber packages and a One-77-inspired steering-wheel design.
The 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT derives its power from an aluminum 6.0-liter V12 gasoline engine that sends 540 horsepower to the rear wheels. The engine is front mid-mounted (in front of the passengers but behind the front wheels) for an advantageous weight distribution and its contribution to superior handling. The sole transmission choice is a 6-speed automatic with manual-shift mode. Premium fuel is required, and the DB9 GT also has a gas-guzzler tax of $1,700.
540 horsepower @ 6,750 rpm
457 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 mpg
The 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $203,000 for the coupe and about $218,000 for a Volante convertible. If you're opting for the Bond Edition, you'll pay $240,000 for the coupe-only option. Put another way, you could buy Honda's entire lineup for the same amount as a DB9 GT coupe. More realistically, the DB9 GT costs more than a Porsche 911 Turbo S, Maserati GranTurismo or Bentley Continental GT, and is in line with starting prices of the Mercedes-Benz SLS and Ferrari California. Ordinarily, our Fair Purchase Price would tell you the best price to pay for a 2016 DB9 GT, but we don’t expect many Aston Martin buyers or dealers to be haggling over the bottom line.