RAC Cars News


The DB9 bows out - get ready for the DB11!

By raccars Published

Aston Martin

The Aston Martin DB9 breathes its last after 13 years in production, making way for the DB11.

Aston Martin has released an image of the final nine DB9s to be made, lined up looking glorious and each wearing a special badge proclaiming it as one of the 'last of nine' made by the customisation department 'Q'.

A new platform

Since 2003 the DB9 has been built at the firm's Gaydon headquarters, a ground-up new model that donated its Ford aluminium architecture to the later DBS, Vanquish and Rapide models.

It's expected that the DB11 will perform a similar function, as Aston Martin has spoken of its versatile structure which would allow for significant differentiation between models while sharing the same underpinnings. The new chassis was designed to be lighter but stronger than the earlier unit.

The DB11

The DB11 is due to go into production next month, with company CEO Andy Palmer set to perform a personal inspection of the first 1,000 models, each of which will be given a plaque of his signature, noting his approval. Some pre-production models are already wearing their plaques. Customer deliveries are planned to commence just before Christmas. What an excellent Xmas gift!

The DB11 is a little larger than the DB9 and uses a 5.2 litre twin turbo V12 with 600bhp, the most powerful unit ever fitted to a road-going DB model, with an eight speed ZF automatic transmission mounted at the rear. Vital statistics include a 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds and a 200mph top speed. Future models could also be offered with a 4.0 litre Mercedes-AMG V8.

A first for Aston Martin is the DB11's active torque vectoring. The company hopes that the new model will be about 20 per cent cleaner and more efficient than its predecessor, so expect something in the region of 24mpg and 270g/km in CO2 emissions. This has been achieved by including modern efficiency features such as variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation and stop-start ignition. The DB11's engineering team also incorporated some of Aston Martin's racing experience into its design to ensure maximum aerodynamic efficiency.

Prices start at about £155,000 for the first model in Aston's 'second century' strategy.

The DB9

The car it replaces, the DB9, is arguably its maker's most commercially successful model. The DB9 was originally introduced at 2003's Frankfurt Motor Show as the successor to the DB7. It was designed by Henrik Fisker and was the first car to be built at the Gaydon facility in Warwickshire and is largely made of aluminium. It was made in both coupe and Volante convertible versions and powered by the V12 Vanquish's 6.0 litre V12 engine, reaching 60mph in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 183mph.

The DB9 was a hit from the start, both for its design and performance. It was updated in 2008 for a bit of extra power and again in 2012, to include carbon ceramic brakes as part of the standard equipment list. The DB9 enjoyed a successful racing career as the DBR9.

The DB9 was an attempt by Aston Martin to increase its visibility and, of course, its sales while retaining its image as a maker of some of the world's most desirable and exclusive sports cars. Some criticisms have been made of its handling and lack of speed when compared to rival models, but the DB9 remained ultra desirable thanks to its style, image and opulent cabin. Aston Martin was obliged to reduce some of the ride stiffness on later models and to improve the car's integrated satellite navigation system.

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