AM DB9----------------------------------

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by tonyh, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 23, 2002
    S W London
    Full Name:
    Tony H
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  3. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
  4. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 23, 2002
    S W London
    Full Name:
    Tony H
  5. JizJizJiz

    JizJizJiz Karting

    Nov 16, 2003
    Full Name:
    Nope. It says we have to register because you're cookied (and thus already logged in). Copy/paste the article with quote tags around :).
  6. Tennlee

    Tennlee Formula Junior

    Feb 10, 2002
    Great Smoky Mountains
    Can't read it. But the AM9 is awesome. I've seen it on the TopGear TV show.
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  8. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 23, 2002
    S W London
    Full Name:
    Tony H
    Cut'n'pasted it as suggested !


    First Drive

    Cover story: Andrew Frankel drives the Aston Martin DB9

    Aston achieves greatness

    It is a common characteristic of sporting cars to have looks that make promises the rest of the car cannot keep. The Audi TT, outgoing Mercedes SLK and Jaguar XKR are all dramatically better to look at than drive. However, perhaps the most guilty of all was the Aston Martin DB7. It wasn’t bad to drive — at least not in Vantage or GT form — but with those lines it should have been a landmark. And it never even approached that status.

    It was ever thus. Aston Martin’s history is peppered with cars that have failed to live up to their visual billing: the DB6, DBS, V8 and Virage (to name but some) all said one thing and then did something different and rather less special.

    The form guide for the new £103,000 DB9 suggested much the same. Cursed by having to follow the DB7, the most beautiful car of the late 20th century, and billed by its creators as more cruiser than bruiser — a tourer no less — it bore all the hallmarks of another gorgeous, slightly disappointing Aston.

    Walk past its derivative but still achingly beautiful exterior, though, and settle yourself behind its thick-rimmed wheel and you sense at once that today is going to be different. Unlike all Astons of late, with this model the designers have tried as hard on the interior as they have on the exterior. The car I drove featured swathes of bamboo, living harmoniously with great chunks and slabs of aluminium.

    Under the bonnet you will find the same 6 litre V12 motor that powered the DB7 Vantage and continues to serve in the Vanquish. In this guise it develops 450bhp, a figure that Jeremy Main, its chief engineer, says could easily have been 600bhp, but they were not prepared to sacrifice its flexibility when the DB9 is meant to be the soft tourer — it’s that word again — of the Aston family.

    Some tourer. Thumb the start button and the V12 snarls back as if you had prodded a sleeping tiger. All the DB9s at the car’s launch in the hills above Nice last week were automatic but with paddles behind the steering wheel as well, so you just tug the right-hand paddle towards you, press the throttle and ease away.

    A very few cars — but no Aston in my experience — feel right from the moment they move and I knew within yards that I was in the presence of greatness. You often don’t need to be flat out or on the limit to spot it, and in the DB9 the way the steering felt in my hands, the control of the suspension and the liquid smoothness of the engine were enough to start my heart racing. This Aston, at last, felt like it was going to deliver.

    And so it did. By ultimate standards it’s not that quick, though few will quibble with its sub-5sec 0-60mph dash or a top speed of 186mph. But the contemptuous ease with which the DB9 tackled some of Europe’s most challenging roads, while both thrilling and reassuring its driver, imparted a sense of occasion I rarely feel in any car, let alone one whose dynamic prowess has been downplayed by its creators.

    The engine may lack the punch of a Ferrari V12 but its sound is such you find yourself looking for tunnels just so you can drive through them. The gearbox is the same six-speed auto used by Audi, Jaguar, BMW, Bentley and others and was the world’s best self-shifter before Aston somehow made it even better. Use the paddles and you could almost forget there was no mechanical link between engine and gearbox, but slip it into “D” and it will change gear by itself noiselessly and seamlessly.

    But even these superlative features are mere supporting acts to the tour de force that is the DB9’s chassis. Supple enough to provide ride comfort absolutely in keeping with the grand touring aspirations of its creators, it also contrives to offer a level of body control and response to make many outright sports cars look incompetent by comparison.

    If the DB9 trips up at all, it is in the provision of those qualities needed to live up to its grand touring billing: the rear seats are a joke and should be regarded as emergencies for small children or, more likely, extra space to complement the distinctly small boot. Even in the front, anyone more than 6ft tall is going to be decidedly snug.

    Other quibbles include some rather inconvenient switchgear, dials that are difficult to read and steering that weights up too much once you turn from the straight-ahead position.

    But quibbles are all they are. Taken as a whole, the DB9 is a masterpiece and an Aston that finally fulfils the promise of its looks. Its creators may regard it as a tourer, but happily for all those who have waited so long for a truly great Aston Martin, the DB9 has other ideas about that. A Vanquish is quicker, but if you are looking for the very embodiment of what a 21st-century Aston Martin should be, you have just found it.

    I’d advise those with early orders who are tempted to sell their place in the queue to realise a quick buck, not to even to sit in their car. If parting with one this good-looking is likely to prove difficult, drive it up the road and you’ll not stand a chance.


    Model: Aston Martin DB9
    Engine type: V12, 5935cc
    Power/Torque: 450bhp @ 6000rpm / 420 lb ft @ 5000rpm
    Transmission: Six speed semi-automatic, rear-wheel drive
    Tyres: 235/40 ZR 19 (f), 275/35 ZR 19 (r)
    Fuel/CO2: 17.1mpg (combined) / 394g/km
    Performance: 0 to 60mph: 4.9sec / top speed: 186mph
    Price: £103,000
    Verdict: Expect queues outside Aston dealers for years to come


    Model: Bentley Continental GT (£110,000)
    For: Great looks, every day usability, good value
    Against: Two-year waiting list, horrendous fuel consumption

    Model: Ferrari 612 Scaglietti (£170,500)
    For: Huge performance, presence
    Against: Expensive, neither the prettiest Ferrari nor the best to drive
  9. racerx

    racerx Guest

    Nov 23, 2003
  10. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    I love this car, but I still can't decide if I would get this or the Bentley.

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