Known to many as the brand of James Bond, and to others as one of the legendary sporting marques of Britain's automotive golden age, the Aston Martin name evokes something different in every one, but its cars evoke the same thing in all: passion, desire, and envy--unless you're the one behind the wheel. The 2011 Aston Martin DB9 comes with the most significant slate of updates since its introduction in 2003, making it fresher, faster, and still undeniably British. MotorAuthority tentatively rates the 2011 DB9 8 out of 10.
New for 2011 are a collection of appearance updates, including a bright chrome grille, new front bumper, silver brake calipers, clear tail light lenses, and 20-spoke diamond-cut alloy wheels, among other small details. The overall stance of refined aggression remains, sharing the same basic proportions and cues of all modern Astons.
Under the hood, the venerable 6.0-liter V-12 continues its good work, pumping out 470 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque along with some of the most exquisite exhaust tones this side of true supercar territory. A choice of six-speed manual or Touchtronic six-speed paddle-shifted automatic transmissions offer the driver a way to tilt the DB9's repertoire toward weekend warrior or weekday warhorse. Either way, the DB9 will elegantly glide to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds or so.
Handling is generally very good in the 2011 DB9, improved over previous models by the addition of an Adaptive Damping System, which adjusts to suit the conditions of road and driver demand. A center console button allows a choice between comfort and sport modes.
Other new features for the 2011 DB9 include a tire-pressure monitoring system for added safety and a new Bang & Olufsen audio system for near-audiophile-quality music. We'll bring you a more detailed and full-featured review once we've had the opportunity to put one to the full test.