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Aston Martin DBS & 9

Aston Martin DBS & 9 Published: 5th Mar 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Aston Martin DBS & 9
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This replacement to the now coveted DB7 elevated Aston’s entry model upmarket when launched in 2004, enabling the two-seater Vantage to become the new ‘budget’ Aston. Apart from that trusty, thrusty V12, the DB9 was an entirely new car based upon Aston’s then advanced Lotus Elise-like VH composite platform and was the first of the ‘Gaydon’ Astons. The DBS of 2007 is the same design essentially but, as the replacement for the Vanquish, accent is more on performance and a two-seater coupé initially, before Aston relented in 2009, introducing both a Volante roadster as well as a 2+2 option.

Driving

There’s a split here. DB9 was initially an auto, albeit a good six-speed design called Touchtronic2 complete with paddle controls and far superior to the earlier Sportshift. While a normal six-speed manual soon surfaced, 95 per cent are autos. Those in the know reckon that the DB9 is a vastly enhanced car to the DB7 in every respect, including feel-good factor. The DBS takes it a stage further, upping the ante to 510bhp and virtual 200mph pace; it was an Electrohydraulic manual transmission for this glorious GT but Touchtronic auto of 2008 is also highly regarded for sportiness.

 

Values

Along with the two-seater Vantage, this pair now represent the cheapest route to Aston motoring although the flip side are expensive running and servicing costs and highest rate of VED levies. A good condition and spec DB9 can be had for around £35,000 or a little extra if a Sports Pack or manual ’box is part of the deal; Virages will hold most future classic appeal. Some experts see the DBS as the ‘new’ DB5; and typical residuals of £90-£120,000 highlight this, more so the limited edition cars. At the other end of the spectrum, avoid ratty cars with price on their side as major repairs will outweigh this.

 

Timeline

2004 DB9 launched using new VH Elise-style composite platform and rear-mounted transmission

2005 Coupés are 2+2 but Volante is two-seater only; orthodox manual transmission is optional

2007 DBS badge reissued for harder core DB9 offshoot based around the racer and so 60kg lighter than DB9

2008 Sport Pack chassis upgrade with special edition DB9 LM (Le Mans); DBS gains Touchtronic 2 transmission

2009 More DB9 revises include extra power (460bhp) aided by uprated transmission. A 2+2 DBS is added to its range plus a Volante cabrio

2010 DB9 receives 10bhp and the adaptive suspension also found on the DBS

2010-12 Short run Virage sits between the pair: 490bhp, ceramic brakes, better interior

 

Best models

 

DB9



Currently the original cars appear exceptional value for money – best after 2008 – but there’s a lot of ill treated earlier ones around

DBS



Quite different to the DB9 it’s based upon (which received more upgrades to bring in line with DBS) and once hailed as Aston’s best ever GT

Virage



This 490bhp short run special is seen as the one with most future classic status as it’s a successful compromise of the established pair

Top five faults

 

History

 
As these are the most complex Astons yet, an expert check over is nigh on essential; main dealers will do it for around £300. A football team of past owners points to a bad car. As ever, drive a few to set a datum

Recalls

 
There’s a number of them concerning the electrics and wonky handling, heated seats the latter due to mis-aligned front subframes

Body

 
Complex make up means repairs are specialist; if you can’t look underneath best find another. Rear subframes are known to rust, so check

Engine

 
V12 always gulps oil but very robust; watch for coolant seepage down the block and poor running is chiefly down to faulty coil packs

Running gear


Hard driven cars can display sloppy suspension, see adaptive damping works okay. Most are autos, check for corroding pipes which usually cost £2000 to replace. If you want a manual, bear in mind that the clutches can last as little as 10,000 miles. Ceramic brakes are also costly; if they feel like sandpaper then discs are on their way out



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