As had been speculated, the brief run of the Aston Martin Virage is over with the arrival of the 2013 Aston Martin DB9, shown above. You'll recall that the Virage was introduced as a bridge between the previous DB9 and the now-defunct DBS.
Coupled with the arrival of the new range-topping Vanquish, the '13 DB9 eliminates the middle man, so to speak, merging the Virage's styling elements (as evidenced by the DB9's front fascia) with powertrain and chassis tweaks developed for the Vanquish. You will doubtless note that the DB9 looks like nearly every recent Aston Martin preceding it. We'd agree, while allowing that the familial look is a feature, not a bug. As before, it's offered as a coupe or convertible (Volante).
Power in the new DB9 comes from the latest version of Aston Martin's 6.0-liter V12, making 510 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque in this application. Those are increases of 40 hp and 14 lb-ft over the old DB9, as well as 20 hp and 37 lb-ft over the Virage. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, and the car boasts 50/50 distribution of its 3,935-pound curb weight. If you want to shift for yourself, you'll have to make do with the Touchtronic 2's paddles, as there's no traditional manual gearbox offered.
Inside, you'll find the same familiar instrument and control layout featured in the current Vantage and the outgoing DB9 and Virage models. A backup camera is now standard. The new DB9 does not receive the updated interior design that premiered in the 2013 Vanquish, so there's now a clear differentiation between the flagship and the "mainstream" V12 car in that respect.
If you want to order a new DB9, you may do so immediately. Pricing starts at $185,400 and it hits showrooms in November. For the full rundown, you can view the entire PR blast from Aston Martin below.
Related Gallery2013 Aston Martin DB9
Aston Martin DB9 – the best of British in a Sports GT
- 2013 DB9 boasts new styling, revised engineering and enhanced luxury
- Technology includes new generation AM11 V12 engine and elements of 'Gen4' VH architecture hardware developed for the forthcoming new Vanquish plus Aston Martin's latest generation adaptive damping
- More power from updated 6.0-liter V12 engine, increased to 510bhp (from 470bhp) and 457lb.ft of torque (from 443lb.ft)
- Streamlines Aston Martin GT offering, combining the best elements of the outgoing Virage with iconic nomenclature to providing a compelling Sports GT at the heart of the Aston Martin range
The styling changes see DB9 adopt an even more lithe, fluid and pure form reminiscent of the outgoing Aston Martin Virage which ceases production with immediate effect. Taking a classic Aston Martin GT silhouette as its base, the new DB9 adds a more pronounced rear boot 'flip' to further enhance the aerodynamic performance of the car.
The exterior design of the DB9 communicates a powerfully assertive yet elegant character. The surfaces display taught lines and subtle muscular forms that point to the underlying power of this renowned Sports GT.
DB9 sits low and wide, visually 'planting' the car on the road, communicating a clearly athletic stance. The car's inherent width is accentuated by the 'light catcher' feature which runs from the lower front bumper and continues along the sill of the car creating a chiselled, determined look.
Available from launch in either Coupe or Volante body styles, the 2013 DB9 offers a strong breadth of appeal.
Bi-xenon headlamps provide the car with a clear focus, while subtle feature lines run along and underneath the headlamps, visually widening the car.
A large lower front grille feeds air into the Carbon Ceramic Braking system – offered as standard equipment - while the front splitter also serves to visually widen the car. For those DB9 buyers in search of an even more sporty appearance there is now a carbon fiber front splitter available as part of the exterior Carbon Pack.
Look a little closer and the true beauty of the DB9's details becomes apparent. The front grille, for instance – inspired by the design of Aston Martin's sold-out One-77 hypercar – features five horizontal vanes which are chamfered to create an aerofoil profile. Meanwhile the bonnet vents are authentic zinc with distinctive vanes. These, along with the new grille and pronounced side strakes, are classic Aston Martin design cues.
2013 DB9 also features Aston Martin's integrated side strake and LED siderepeaters. The long strake accentuates the lean, long lines of the DB9's nose. Once again, Aston Martin's craftsmanship is clearly demonstrated in the use of metal grilles and clean lines of the polished metal castings.
At the rear of the car, the DB9's wide track width and muscular rear haunches clearly communicate the power delivered at the rear wheels.
Power comes courtesy of the new generation AM11 V12 engine. The new V12 takes some of the 'Gen4' VH architecture hardware technology developed for Aston Martin's forthcoming new super GT, the Vanquish, but has been tuned to suit the character of DB9. The result is an engine with effortless torque of up to 457lb.ft (620 Nm) and peak power of 510bhp (517 PS) – increases of 40bhp and 14lb.ft respectively.
Key features of the AM11 unit include a revised block and new head including dual variable valve timing, enlarged throttle bodies, uprated fuel pump, revised intake manifold and machined combustion chambers.
Inside, as out, the revised DB9 becomes yet more elegant and more luxurious. Unmistakably Aston Martin, the Sports GT's opulently-appointed interior boasts authentic materials and the highest levels of attention to detail.
The 2013 DB9 comes with a stunning leather welt feature first seen on Virage. Inspired by luxury leather goods, the welts have been designed and developed by Aston Martin's master craftsmen. Requiring meticulous levels of control to hand stitch, and requiring specially-developed manufacturing facilities, the welts are created by sandwiching a narrow strip of leather between two opposing leather seat panels, and fixed using precise stitching.
A further demonstration of Aston Martin's renowned attention to detail and craftsmanship can be seen in the jewel-like glass switchgear used throughout the interior of the revised DB9. Details such as these glass switches clearly demonstrate the luxury sports car maker's commitment to the use of authentic, high value materials.
Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez said: "Aside from the undeniably beautiful exterior styling and now even more luxurious interior, there are many important and impressive engineering changes that demonstrate Aston Martin's renowned ability to create compelling cars in the modern era."
The 2013 DB9 streamlines Aston Martin's GT offering providing buyers with a very clear and compelling model line-up from which to choose. The DB9 resides at the very heart of this combining the best elements of the outgoing Virage with important new upgrades and iconic DB9 nomenclature. This is complemented by the four-door Rapide sports car and, at the top of the range, the new Vanquish super GT. The 2013 DB9 is available to order now through Aston Martin's Americas dealerships with prices starting at USD $185,400 and first deliveries starting from November 2012.
This 2013 DB9 sees the introduction of the new generation AM11 V12 engine. The new V12 takes some of the 'Gen4' VH architecture hardware technology developed for Aston Martin's forthcoming new super GT, the Vanquish, but has been tuned to suit the character of DB9. The result is an engine with effortless torque of up to 457lb.ft (620Nm) and peak power of 510bhp (517PS) – both significantly improved versus the outgoing unit.
Key features of the AM11 unit include a revised block and new head including dual variable valve timing, enlarged throttle bodies, uprated fuel pump, revised intake manifold and machined combustion chambers. Meanwhile, DB9 achieves compliance with the latest European pedestrian protection regulations and does so in a new way that is without any compromise to the exterior design of the car and does without the need for otherwise surplus deployable
To accomplish this, Aston Martin's designers and engineers have worked together to make significant changes to the underbody structure of the car including a lowered engine, new bonnet, front bumper construction and grille surround moulding. Their resulting design is the subject of patent pending applications and enables the grille to move rearwards on impact, whilst the central and outboard chin stiffeners give rigidity to the lower structure and support achievement of the leg impact regulations. Cut-outs on the front wing catwalks contribute to the achievement of the headform regulation.
This means Aston Martin is able to avoid conventional solutions such as the use of plastic grilles and straightforward nose cone bumpers that stretch up in front of the bonnet. Instead, it has created a clever new and bespoke solution that preserves the unmistakable visual appeal of the VH architecture leading edge bonnet and its extruded aluminium grille.
Dr Bez said: "The new AM11 V12 engine together with our unique and patent pending solution for enhanced pedestrian protection – these are clear examples of the engineering excellence that continues to make Aston Martin the creator of the most desired and admired luxury sports cars in the world."
Chassis – important upgrades all round
The 2013 DB9 boasts a number of important enhancements over the outgoing car's already impressive inventory. The braking system, for instance, now uses as standard Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) discs and calipers supplied by acknowledged global brake experts, Brembo.
While this DB9 offers a refined, comfortable sports GT drive experience, the new carbon brakes provide the confidence and reassurance of reduced brake fade when pressing the car to its sports capability.
CCM consists of a compound of carbon fibre which is impregnated with silicon, injected into a mould and baked at ultra-high temperature. The resulting material is not only much tougher than conventional cast iron discs but also dissipates heat more rapidly to provide reduced fading.
The brake rotors, (398mm diameter at the front, 360mm at the rear), are mounted onto the bespoke disc bells using a 'floating disc' system. This allows the discs to flex relative to their mountings thereby making them less prone to 'judder'.
The discs are cross-drilled to help keep the brake pads clean while also helping to ensure that gases emitted by the pads during braking do not build up between the pad and disc surface. The holes also help to cool the surface of the pads and the discs themselves. Air intakes mounted behind the lower front grille also force feed air into the brake discs to aid cooling.
Saving around 27.5lb versus a conventional cast iron system the DB9's CCM brakes not only reduce overall vehicle weight but also mean that a better balance between ride comfort and handling can be struck. The lower rotational mass also gives improved acceleration, braking and steering feel.
The luxury sports car also boasts Aston Martin's 'Gen4' VH architecture version of the brand's Adaptive Damping System (ADS). This next generation ADS has been enhanced to include three modes: Normal, Sport and Track.
In 'Normal' mode, the damping is set to deliver the greatest ride comfort, with the electronically controlled dampers automatically adjusting to provide the optimum settings to suit driver input, speed and the road surface quality. In 'Sport' mode, the damping is set-up to be more focused at delivering sharper handling and control during dynamic driving while in the 'Track' mode the damping operates within the range of its stiffest settings.
The different damping modes available help appreciably broaden DB9's character, adapting its set-up to suit the driver's requirements in different contexts. It can be a comfortable and compliant GT car in Normal mode as well as being a firm and direct sports car in Sport setting and offering highly precise flat cornering in Track mode.
Equipment – luxury comes as standard
As befits a luxury GT in this class the 2013 DB9 features convenience items such as automatic headlights, now operated by a new master switch unit control panel located on the lower instrument panel beneath the driver's side air-vent.
Automatic windscreen wipers are also a standard-fit feature, with their operation triggered by a rain sensor built into the header pod in front of the rear-view mirror. Arch-filling 20-inch alloys wheels in a variety of designs, full-grain leather interior, leather sports steering wheel, electrically adjustable Sports seats with side airbags, memory seats and exterior mirrors, satellite navigation, automatic temperature control, trip computer and Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays – the DB9's list of standard equipment is suitably generous while buyers keen to further enhance the luxury look and feel of their Aston Martin sports car can select from an extensive range of optional equipment features.
The 2013 DB9 features the reversing camera currently available on the Rapide fourdoor sports car and forthcoming Vanquish super GT as standard equipment. The camera is integrated into the rear boot lid above the number plate, with the image visible on the LCD screen folding out of the centre stack. The reversing camera is activated when reverse gear is selected and is deactivated once the car is driving forwards at more than 5mph.
Meanwhile there are two Carbon Packs introduced on DB9 13MY – one exterior and one interior – to offer further personalisation possibilities. All of the carbon fiber has a 2 x 2 twill design that is finished with a clear lacquer. The exterior pack comprises carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser, carbon fiber mirror arms and caps and dark tailpipes with a graphitic finish. The interior pack offers a carbon fiber upper facia, carbon fiber gear selector paddles and carbon fiber door pulls.
Buyers can opt for either Aston Martin wings or DB9 headrest embroidery. The DB9 embroidery design has been refreshed and also has a new stitch pattern on 2013 cars.
Finally, a leather headlining is now available as an option on DB9. The large central panel of the headlining can be finished in leather, while the cant rail trim and header trim remain Alcantara-coloured.
Summarising the significantly enhanced appeal of the 2013 DB9, product manager Andy Haslam said: "DB9 has, rightly, been positioned at the hub of our GT segment offerings for some years now.
"The introduction of this significantly enhanced 2013 car means Aston Martin buyers have a very clear and compelling model line-up from which to choose. "Taking the best elements of Virage, adding important new upgrades and combining these with the iconic DB9 nomenclature we have created a compelling new Sports GT that sits proudly at the very heart of the Aston Martin sports car range. "With the exceptional new Vanquish super GT occupying the top of the range, there is now a clear and logical step from DB9."
Aston Martin 2013 DB9 Specification
Two-door coupe body style with 2+2 seating configuration
Extruded bonded aluminium VH body structure
Aluminium, magnesium alloy and composite body
Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
Single bi-xenon headlamps with integrated LED side lights and direction indicators
Clear LED rear lamps
All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48 valve, 5,935cc, V12
Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
Max power: 510 bhp (517 PS) at 6,500 rpm
Max torque: 457 lb ft (620 Nm) at 5,500 rpm
Acceleration: 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.6 seconds
Max speed: 183 mph (295 km/h)
Rear mid-mounted 'Touchtronic 2' six-speed transmission with electronic shift-by wire control system
Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft
Limited slip differential
Final drive ratio 3.46:1
Wheels & Tyres
20-inch five-spoke cast alloy silver painted wheels
Front wheel: 8.5J x 20-inch
Rear wheel: 11J x 20-inch
Front tyre: Pirelli P Zero 245/35 ZR20
Rear tyre: Pirelli P Zero 295/30 ZR20
Tyre repair kit
Length: 4720mm (inc. front number plate plinth)
Width: 2061mm (inc. mirrors)
Fuel tank capacity: 78 litres (17.15 Imp.galls, 20.6 US galls)
Height: 1282mm Weight: 3935 lb (1785 kg)
Rack and pinion, servotronic speed-sensitive power-assisted steering, 3.0 turns lock-to-lock
Column tilt and reach adjustment
Front: ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 398mm diameter with six-piston monobloc calipers
Rear: ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 360mm diameter with four-piston monobloc calipers
Grey painted brake calipers
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with track mode
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
Traction control (TC)
Three Stage Adaptive Damping System (ADS) with Normal, Sport and Track modes
Front: independent double wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
Rear: independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
Full-grain leather interior
Walnut facia trim with graphite centre console finish and iridium silver surround
Leather sports steering wheel
Electrically adjustable sports seats with side airbags
Memory seats & exterior mirrors (three positions)
Dual-stage driver/front passenger front airbags
Powerfold exterior heated mirrors
Heated front seats (sports seats only)
Heated rear screen
Automatic temperature control
Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays
Bluetooth® telephone preparation1
Rear Parking Assist Camera
Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror1
Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener (USA and Canada only) 1
Satellite radio system (USA only) 1
Front and rear parking sensors
Tyre pressure monitoring system1
Alarm and immobiliser
Remote-control central door locking and boot release
LED map-reading lights
Lamy pen and pen holder
700-watt Aston Martin Premium audio system with Dolby® Pro Logic II® including six-CD autochanger
Integrated Apple iPod®,3 connector
USB Connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Audio (WMA) and MPEG (MP3) audio file compatibility
3.5 mm auxiliary input socket
Volante body style
20-inch five-spoke alloy graphite painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
20-inch ten-spoke alloy Liquid Silver painted wheels
20-inch ten-spoke alloy silver painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
20-inch ten-spoke alloy graphite painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
20-inch ten-spoke alloy Satin Black painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
Alternative brake caliper finish – black, red, and yellow
Exterior Carbon Fibre Pack (comprising front splitter, rear diffuser, mirror cap, mirror arm and graphitic tailpipe finish)
2+0 Seating (Coupe only)
Optional facia trims - Piano Black, bamboo, tamo ash, mahogany
Black Alcantara Steering Wheel
Matching wood door trim (not available with B&O BeoSound audio system options)
Personalised sill plaques
1000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower technology
Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror1
Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener 1
Alarm upgrade (volumetric and tilt sensor)
Satellite radio system (Canada only) (excludes subscription)1
Satellite radio system1
Second Glass ECU
Interior Carbon Fibre Pack (comprising facia trim, gearshift paddles and door pulls)
DB9 logo or Aston Martin wings embroidery on front seat headrests
Contemporary Pack (comprising contemporary paint, contemporary leather, contemporary carpet, leather headlining, contrast stitching)
1 Not available in all markets
2 Includes Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC) in Continental Europe
3 iPod is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries