Since it was first introduced in 2004, the Aston Martin DB9 has been a sensational hit for the automaker. Ford still owned Aston Martin when the DB9 was first launched - yes, it's been that long. Fortunately, the DB9 has done a lot to help revitalize Aston and put it back on track as one of the world's most exclusive automakers. And with every great car, there comes a time when it's either completely redesigned or a simply updated.
For 2011, Aston has given a bit of a nip/tuck to its ultimate GT transport. The only thing is, the DB9 already looked absolutely beautiful. In fact, the original design was so well done and modern, Aston had to be careful not to deviate too much from a proven success. However, when comparing the DB9 of the past seven years to the 2011 model, one may be hard pressed to find any changes at all. In other words, you'll have to look closely to see the updates.
Aston updated the front fascia, added a brighter grille, a slightly reshaped lower front grille, sculpted side sills that now curve upwards towards the rear wheel arches, and supposedly there are new headlamps (what, no LED lamps?). The latter is difficult to see, but there is a difference. There are also now standard 20-inch diamond-turned alloy wheels. Inside you'll find other minor updates such as revised Bluetooth connectivity, a standard tire pressure monitoring system, and "Double Apex" aluminum trim. The most important update, however, lies under the hood.
Although the 6.0-liter 470 horsepower V12 has been carried over from the previous model, Aston has added an adaptive damping system that's similar to the one found in the DBS and Rapide models. This has improved the car's handling to the point where the automaker has dropped the optional Sport Pack that was available before. The one thing that hasn't changed (and never will) is the steep base price. For 2011, it starts at $188,965 for the coupe and $202,465 for the convertible.
My only question is how long can Aston Martin get away from doing a complete visual makeover/redesign? With the recent launch of the four-door Rapide and the super duper expensive (not to mention wicked fast) One-77, it's possible to see signs of a design evolution in process. Focusing on the One-77, it's clear that designers have taken a more aggressive look while still maintaining a unique Aston-like silhouette. More than likely, that's the direction the company will take when penning future models.
There hasn't been any mention of an upcoming redesign of the DB9, but my best guess is that something will happen at around the 2014 or 2015 model year. Until then, Aston Martin is sticking with a winning formula in terms of both design and performance.