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Aston Martin DB9

Broadcast date : 2nd April 2006

Yes indeed. 5FM Deejay Sureshnie Govender couldn’t quite believe it when she got the call from Bullard…. David Bullard…… to spend the day with a DB9.

The Aston Martin DB9. The particular magic of the Aston Martin is that it manages to bring ninety years of sports car heritage to a 21st century techno party.

Without ruffling so much as a drive-by-wire throttle and transmission interface.

With the nose treatment of the DB9 vividly recalling the famous Carroll Shelby - Roy Salvadori Le Mans triumph in 1959, and an exhaust note to consign monster-trucks to distant memory.

So what’s special about the DB9? For openers, it employs one of the world’s great engines. The six-litre V12 is, naturally, of aluminium construction, and so too is the transmission, which is a six-speed automatic, mid-mounted in tandem with the rear axle.

Paddle shift control is offered on the fluid-drive gearbox, which is smoothness personified.

A sub five-second 0-100 and a 300 km/h top-speed seem entirely fitting for this mobile masterpiece.

Perhaps the most important feature of the DB9 – apart from its drop-dead gorgeous looks – is the fact that utilizes an all-aluminium construction. Beneath those beautiful alloy body panels lies an aluminium chassis, combining elements of both space-frame and monococque construction.

The result is a super-rigid chassis with 50-50 weight distribution – the ideal platform to mount suspension components that provide accurate body control and a luxurious, compliant ride.

Hi-tech features like LED taillights are indicative of Aston’s desire to push the engineering envelope and not trade too heavily on the marque’s heritage.

Aston has its ducks in a row when it comes to styling too. This is one of the most dramatic-looking cars on our roads right now, and in the supercar arena, good looks are just as important as aero-efficiency and performance.

A bumpy back-road is not a supercar’s natural habitat, but the Aston’s engineering copes well with life’s little ripples too.

In a car costing R2 150 000, you’d expect the interior to be special… and it is, for the most part.

An English sports car wouldn’t be worthy of the name if it didn’t have seats, dashboard and console cosseted with leather and wood panels. The Aston does, but there are a few items hinting at the afterthought or cost-cutting school of car manufacturer.

The electric buttons for the seats and window elevators seemed to have been sourced from the Ford corporate parts bin. Generally, though, the cabin is impressive.

The DB9 is the second Aston Martin Car Torque has tested since the Aston marque established its South African presence towards the end of 2005. The DB9 is some seven-hundred thousand Rand more expensive than the Vantage David sampled a few months back.

And despite its considerable size – it’s 4,7 metres long – the DB9 doesn’t feel cramped by road conditions.

The DB9 was the first Aston Martin to be built at the company’s new headquarters in Warwickshire, the company having moved from its historic Newport Pagnell base since the Ford ownership take-over a few years ago.

Ford cash injection has meant real-world model development for Aston, and this car is possibly the most thoroughly-engineered Aston to date, while still retaining its hand-built qualities.

Aston Martin DB9
  • Engine: V12 petrol, 5 935 cc
  • Power: 331 kilowatts @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque: 570 Nm @ 5 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 4,9 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 300 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 20 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R2 150 00

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