Tuesday, September 18, 2012
New Car: 2013 Aston Martin DB9
Although Aston Martin’s supercars are widely regarded as rolling pieces of art, the consensus is that they all look the same. As the lineup turns over, however, the cars look like a new version of same. Two years ago, Aston rolled out the One-77 supercar, and the intervening time has seen its visual language applied first to the Virage and then to the new-for-2013 Vanquish. Now it’s the DB9’s turn.
With European sports-car manufacturers seemingly having just one high-level response to updating their offerings—add more power—Aston went to work under the DB9’s hood. The previous-gen DB9 churned out 470 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque from its 5.9-liter V-12. The AM11 engine now adds dual variable valve timing, larger throttle bodies, and a new fuel pump, and also gets a revised block, machined cylinders, and a new intake manifold. The result is 510 hp and 457 lb-ft from the same displacement, all fed to a rear-mounted six-speed automatic transaxle via a torque-tube-encased carbon-fiber driveshaft. A limited-slip differential is standard. Sixty-two mph is said to be achieved in 4.6 seconds, and top speed is listed at 183 mph.
The V-12’s output now equals that of the outgoing DBS, a car that was replaced this year by the Vanquish. The so-called “Gen 4” VH architecture was developed for the Vanquish, and the DB9 benefits not only from its attendant engine upgrades, but also the latest iteration of Aston’s adaptive-damping system. The suspension can be set to Normal, Sport, and Track modes, varying stiffness and response. Aston’s latest GT also adds standard carbon-ceramic Brembo brake discs—15.7 inchers in the front, 14.2’s in the rear—that the company claims weigh about 28 pounds less versus the previous steel units; this should help steering response and feel. The calipers (also supplied by Brembo) actuate via six pistons up front and four in the back. You’re probably thinking that the boosted output and improved chassis components make the Virage superfluous; Aston Martin clearly agrees, as it has ceased production of that model “with immediate effect.”
Thanks to: Car and Driver