Before the DB11 hits the road later this year - with its new platform and new twin-turbo V12 engine - Aston Martin has given one of the most important models in its 100-plus-year history a final sendoff.
To celebrate the car that essentially kept the company afloat when Ford sold the British marque in 2006, the 'Q by Aston Martin' division has added some bespoke ‘last of 9’ detailing on the final DB9s.
Farewell to an icon. The last nine Aston Martin DB9s are now ready for final inspection. pic.twitter.com/arpi2NPus7— Aston Martin (@astonmartin) July 22, 2016
First introduced in 2003, the DB9 went on to become the company’s most successful in its history, and arguably the most beautiful. It was also the first Aston Martin to be produced at the company's new (at the time) Gaydon facility.
Succeeding the DB7 - which sold 9000 units between 1994 and 2004 - the DB9 brought Aston Martin into the 21st century with a new aluminium-intensive ‘VH’ (Vertical/Horizontal) platform derived from the much pricier V12 Vanquish, replacing the near-20 year-old Jaguar underpinnings from its predecessor.
Inside was also much more modern than its predecessor, with new technologies like satellite navigation and bluetooth, along with better fit-and-finish all round, making the DB9 a much stronger competitor in the luxury grand tourer and supercar segments.
Above: 2003 Aston Martin DB9
At launch, the DB9 was powered by a version of Aston Martin’s ‘6.0-litre’ V12 (the brand refers to it as a 6.0-litre when it’s actually 5.9 litres) - developed from Ford’s mid-90s Duratec V6 - carried over from the DB7 and V12 Vanquish, producing 331kW of power and 569Nm of torque.
In its first iteration, the DB9 was capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 299km/h, priced in Australia from $338,250 plus on-road costs when it launched locally towards the end of 2004.
Since its reveal in 2003, the DB9 has been given a number of updates, the most significant coming in 2013 - with a revised version of the 5.9-litre V12 bumping outputs to a heftier 380kW of power and 620Nm of torque.
Coupled with an updated ‘Touchtronic 2’ six-speed automatic transmission, the 2013 DB9 could dash from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds, on its way to a Vanquish-equalling top speed of 295km/h - a slight decrease from the original model.
Above: 2015 Aston Martin DB9 GT
In 2015, the final version of the DB9 - the DB9 GT - went one step further, with an upgraded 402kW/620Nm 5.9-litre V12 and 4.5-second 0-100km/h sprint.
Replacing the DB9 will be the all-new DB11, which is powered by a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 producing 447kW of power and 700Nm of torque. Dashing from 0-100km/h in just 3.9 seconds on its way to a 322km/h top speed, the DB11 is just about as quick as the current Vanquish flagship.
Although the DB9 is being retired, its skeleton will continue to live on in the Rapide and Vanquish once the Vantage is replaced (likely sometime next year).
Nevertheless, farewell to the Aston Martin DB9, you will be dearly missed.