The delivery of the DB9 GT was somewhat bittersweet. Many Aston Martins have passed through our hands over the years but of them all, the DB9 has always been Wallpaper’s favourite. The new GT is the run-out model of a car that began life in the design studio at the turn of the century, before debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003. In its 12-year lifespan the DB9 has evolved in almost every respect – upgraded engine, gearbox, interior, trim, body panels – but it is still the same fundamental machine that wowed the world when it first arrived. Now the line is finally ending.
It says a lot about the essential rightness of those first cars that age has done nothing to dim their visual impact. When it was new, the DB9 was hailed as one of the most beautiful cars ever designed. Created by Ian Callum, lightly enhanced by Henrik Fisker and subsequently overseen by Aston Martin’s current chief creative officer Marek Reichman, the DB9 GT can still lay substantial claim to being the best-looking car you can buy.
Despite its status as an ‘instant classic’ there’s nothing old fashioned about the way the GT drives. The balance, response and feel of this grand tourer has always been second to none and the Aston Martin interior feels like a rich, cosseting embrace, regardless of how many times you get into the car. The DB9 is at its best (as well as its noisiest) with ‘sport ‘ mode selected – turn it off if you want to roll around in a stealthier fashion. The suspension is firm but not uncomfortably so, and the overall ambience is luxurious and smooth. Endless reserves of power are expected and delivered; although unlike its smaller, more aggressive V8 sibling, the DB9 is happier cruising at speed than tearing up tarmac into strips.
There are areas where technology has overtaken this car – in particular, the ergonomics, IT and switchgear all feel rather last generation. And although Aston Martin’s 6.0 litre has been the spiritual and physical heart of the DB9 since the beginning, we’re hoping its prodigious thirst will be somewhat tamed when it’s re-engineered for installation in the forthcoming DB11.
Will that car command the same affection as the evergreen DB9? The outgoing model will leave at the height of its power, gracefully exiting the party before anyone has tired of its presence. The DB11 has a big act to follow.