MI6 takes a first look at new Aston Martin DB9 - the car that could be joining
007 in 2005...
Martin DB9 Unveiled
3rd September 2003
will be a birth of a new Aston Martin. Gone will be the loss making years and
days without 007. Enter the new Aston Martin DB9, set for launch at the 2003 Frankfurt
International Motor show next week. Company chief executive Ulrich Bez said in
a statement to press:
"The DB9 will without
doubt be the most important Aston Martin model ever."
V8, DB9, Vanquish!
The announcement follows the recent unveiling of the
(not to be confused with) Aston Martin V8 Vantage- which goes on sale during 2005.
The new range will be flag shipped by the infamous Aston
Martin Vanquish, star of "Die Another Day" - although it will still
not available in invisible-edition.
The AM V8 Vantage will be priced at
the "Porsche" range at only £60,000, the cheapest Aston Martin
to date, whereas the DB9 will takeover from the DB7 on the edge of the six figure
The new DB9 uses a lot of the design features from the updated DB7
- which is now unlikely to go into production as the DB9 is the modern classic's
natural successor. It also borrows some of the finer detailing from the Vantage
and Vanquish too, keeping the new range a close knit family.
Lightening The Load
In comparison to the Vanquish which weighed in at two
tonnes, the new DB5 has been designed with mass in mind. The chassis uses a super
stiff aluminum back bone to reduce weight, whilst still providing the necessary
strength the cope with the 440 BHP V12 engine. Including other savings, the total
weight of the new model has been brought down to 1,700kg. Less weight, means more
speed. The lean machine should do 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed
of 186mph. 0-100mph will be clocked under 11 seconds.
abound that the engine performance was restricted so as not to outperform the
Jeremy Main, director of product development at Aston
Martin described the new model:
"The DB9 is
a GT, a car you hop into for the weekend for a jaunt across Europe".
Another change of design for the new Aston centres around the gear
box, or rather, that it is not centred. The whole box has been shifted behind
the driver to achieve better overall balance of the car's weight distribution.
With The New, In With The Old
The much criticized "Formula 1"
clutchless style gear controls from the Vanquish have been thrown out for the
new DB9. Instead will be a choice between an old fashioned manual or a fully automatic
Also back in are - rear seats! The DB9 will be the "practical" model
of the 2005 range with two small bucket style seats in the rear for children,
small adults or yoga experts.
Luxury and Aston Martin go hand in hand, and
nothing has been spared for the new DB9. The theme is predominantly aluminum,
again emphasizing the lightness of the car, along with plush leather upholstery.
Above: A spy shot of the new DB9 being tested.
Replacing the DB7 in the range will not
be cheap, in fact, the new DB9 will cost around £10,000 more. £107,000
will buy you a factory spec Aston Martin DB9 in 2004 - if you are high up enough
on the waiting list. If money is not an issue and you need your car slightly earlier,
you can pay £111,000 for the convertible edition in late 2004.
When the new AM V8 Vantage (previously codenamed AM305) was first
announced, it seemed the likely successor to the Vanquish for James Bond's next
adventure in 2005.
Above: Another shot of the car in testing.
news of the more expensive DB9 now throws all of that in doubt - Q-branch are
more likely to opt for the higher-spec DB9 over the Vantage, and the Vanquish
is likely to take a back seat from 007's adventures.
Aston Martin hope
to sell 2000 models of the car a year from it's factory in Warwickshire, UK -
although having the world's most famous secret agent driving around in one may
boost those estimates.
Model: Aston Martin DB9
Type: Compact Coupe/Hatchback
Double overhead cam (DOHC)
V12 cylinder configuration
Premium unleaded fuel
Horsepower: 440 hp
0-60mph: 4.7 seconds
0-100mph: 11 seconds
Top speed: 300 kph
Rear wheel drive
(manual or fully automatic gear box)
Weight: 1710 kg
Length: 4697 mm
Width: 1875 mm
Height: 1318 mm
Four-wheel independent suspension
Front and rear stabilizer bar
Brakes: Front and rear ventilated disc brakes Front Tyres: 235/40 ZR 19 Bridgestone
Rear Tyres: 275/35 ZR 19 Bridgestone
Two front seat headrests
Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage
New Aston Martin Planned For 2004