AUTO

Aston Martin DB9

Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday, 9th September 2003, the Aston Martin DB9, is first car to be produced at the company’s facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire. The innovative Aston Martin DB9 heralds an exciting new era for Aston Martin as it reflects the direction that the company is taking with all future models. Using a radical new aluminium bonded frame, the 2+2 Aston Martin DB9 is one of the most sophisticated and technically advanced sports cars in the world. It successfully balances the attributes of a sports car with features normally found on luxury cars.

DESIGN

The Aston Martin DB9 is a modern interpretation of a traditional Aston Martin sports car, representing a contemporary version of classic DB design elements and characteristics.

“We wanted an elegant, beautiful car – in keeping with Aston Martin tradition,” says Director of Design Henrik Fisker. “I was of course acutely aware that Aston Martin is renowned for its superb styling. It has launched some of the most beautiful sports and GT cars ever seen.”

Key traditional Aston Martin features incorporated into the Aston Martin DB9 include the distinctive grille, side strakes and clean, crisp, uncluttered lines.

Clean and elegant surfacing

“Aston Martins are not edgy cars – they don’t have sharp surfaces or pronounced power domes,” says Fisker. “The bodywork is elegant and gently curved, like a supremely fit person, with great muscle tone. But it is not like a body builder, who is bulky and out of harmony.”

The side profile is very clean, with a single-sweep roofline. There is a pronounced boot – a noticeable feature of the Aston Martin DB4 and Aston Martin DB5 – and the haunches on the rear wings are wide and curvaceous.

“A great deal of time was spent on the detailing,” says Fisker. “In particular, we wanted to cut down on fuss. There are very few cut or shut lines. Each of the headlamps is set in single apertures in the front wings.”

Nor is there a separate nose cone, another typical source of sports car design fussiness. The aluminium bonnet runs all to the way to the leading edge of the car. “This accentuates the length of the bonnet and the power of the car,” says Fisker. All front cut lines emanate from the grille. The Aston Martin DB9’s bumpers are invisible. The front number plate is part of the crash structure and computer modelling has enabled Aston Martin to use invisible ‘hard pressure zones’ to cope with bumps.

“We wanted the Aston Martin DB9 to look like it was milled out of a single solid piece of aluminium,” says Fisker. “No fussy detailing and a minimum of shut lines have helped.”

The side strakes – an Aston Martin DB signature – are made from metal. The door handles are flush with the body opening the unique ‘swan wing’ doors, which rise at a 12-degree angle for improved access.

There are no visible gutters on the roof panel, and no visible drain channels at the front or rear windscreens. Nor are there any plastic ‘dressing’ plates.

The importance of good stance

“The way the car sits on the road is crucial,” says Fisker. “A sleek, long look is what we wanted.”

The wide track and long wheelbase are further advantages. Compared with the outgoing Aston Martin DB7 Vantage, the Aston Martin DB9’s wheelbase is 149mm longer, yet the track is 52mm wider at the front. Yet overall length and width are only marginally increased.

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