The intention was that it was to be the ‘GT’ offering’ in the fast growing AM range as it had occasional rear seats but it was also been engineered to behave like a sportscar. The car was powered by a third generation 450 bhp version of the 5.9 litre V12 developed from that in the V12 Vanquish; initially produced by Cosworth Technology in the UK, the production of which moved to the Aston Martin Engine Plant in Cologne, Germany in September 2004. The DB9 itself is built in a purpose built state of the art facility at Gaydon, Warwickshire; part of a much larger site which is also shared with other brand members of the former Premier Automotive Group (Land Rover & Jaguar) and the British Motor Industry Heritage Centre.
The DB9 above has been especially sectioned to show the VH platform. The individual die-cast, extruded or stamped aluminium elements of the VH platform are bonded with strong adhesives and self-piercing rivets to make a lightweight but stiff backbone. Indeed the DB9 bodyshell weighs 25% less than that of the DB7 but has twice the torsional rigidity. The VH platform was never shared with any other vehicle from the Ford family, but a shortened wheelbase version is also used on the V8/V12 Vantage and a longer version on the four door Rapide.
The interiors of Aston Martins have always been very special places to be. Never overfilled with gadgets and toys but beautifully tailored with the finest of materials. The DB9 followed that theme with acres of Bridge of Weir leather, aluminium and wood. The use of wood in the interior was different from previous Astons, with a choice of walnut, mahogany and bamboo; it’s finish was described as oiled rather than polished and appeared structural. The most pleasing part in the cabin was the starter button made of glass, sand etched with the Aston Martin wings logo; a feature that carried through all models until it’s replacement by the ‘Emotion Control Unit’ on the 2009MY cars.
When launched, the DB9 was only available with Touchtronic 2 transmission. A manual gearbox became optional with 2005MY cars from March 2005 and even though it cost £3,000 less than the auto, it was seldom specified by customers. It has been claimed that as few as 5% of the entire DB9 production were actually built with the six speed Graziano transmission making them very rare and highly desirable.