Matt Joy gets the real 007 experience in the new Aston Martin DB9 GT.
There’s a great number of new things on the horizon for Aston Martin; a new Bond film, a new generation of cars and a new partnership with AMG, all of which are brimming with promise for the British manufacturer. These things are still to come however, and in the meantime, the car that began the Aston Martin rivalry has been refreshed.
This GT version is the final hurrah for the DB9, the V12 grand tourer that has best encapsulated the notion of a modern Aston Martin in the 21st Century. The GT receives unique alloy wheels, black detailing to the front and rear aerodynamic elements, black brake callipers and detail changes to the head and tail lights. The long-serving 6.0-litre engine gets a power boost too.
LOOKS AND IMAGE
Given its age it is remarkable how little the DB9’s shape has changed over the last decade, but that is a testament to just how pretty it was in the first place. The subtle enhancements of this GT version are just that; welcome, but just fresh icing on a delicious cake. The black-finished front splitter and rear diffuser are nice touches and the new wheels are a delight.
Those looks are still guaranteed to turn heads, which is part of the reason it has such a fantastic image. British, stylish and relatively discreet – just like a certain secret agent.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
The DB9 is better than it used to be in this respect, although it’s best suited to two adults with the possible occasional inclusion of a pair of small children. It’s a grand tourer in the traditional sense, so there’s an intimate cabin for the two up front and 155 litres of space for your weekend luggage in the boot, and use the rear seats for odds and ends. The latest infotainment upgrade is a welcome addition too, with better responses and more features than before.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
The DB9 GT isn’t just a high performance grand tourer, it is a car that delivers a genuine sense of occasion. Sliding behind the wheel into the beautifully finished cabin makes you feel special; firing up the V12 engine confirms it.
Driven sensibly, the DB9 GT is low effort and comfortable. The ride is well judged, keeping everything level and stable but filtering out road pimples, while the automatic gearbox marshals the huge amount of torque on offer. Squeeze the accelerator gently and there’s a seemingly infinite amount of urge available, all delivered without any fuss.
Really press on and the DB9 GT is ready to play. It’s a relatively big car but there’s three damper settings and three for the stability control too, and should you be feeling brave and talented, it will play the hooligan. As fast (if not faster) than you could possibly need in the UK and beyond, it is a car that delights in so many ways.
VALUE FOR MONEY
The question of value operates in reverse when discussing a luxury car; it’s not so much whether the car is worth the money, but how often does the car remind you how much it is worth? In the case of the DB9 GT, that is on a regular basis. The quality of the materials is superb; flawless stitching in the beautiful leather, glinting chrome and carpet you want to dig bare feet into. The short of it is you will never feel short-changed for your £140,000.
WHO WOULD BUY ONE?
James Bond would buy one if he didn’t get an Aston in his company car scheme, but for us mortals at least, the DB9 should either be in your underground garage or a poster on your bedroom wall. It’s become an Aston Martin icon in its
own lifetime, and while there is a new car on the horizon, it has some spectacularly large shoes to fill. There will be faint
tears when it finally moves on.
ASTON MARTIN DB9 GT, £140,000
Engine: 6.0-litre unit producing 540bhp and 457lb/ft of torque
Transmission: Six-speed automatic driving the rear wheels
Performance: Top speed 183mph, 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds
Economy: 19.8 mpg combined Emissions: 333g/km of CO2