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Video: this is Aston’s DB9 replacement, and it sounds good
Spy footage from the Nürburgring shows new Aston V12 squealing its tyres… and making noise
A test mule apparently revealing Aston Martin’s DB9 replacement – widely, though unofficially, labelled ‘DB11’ – has been spotted on the Nürburgring doing some light exercise.
Once you’ve gotten over the tyre squeal from the unofficial vid, you will notice that a) it looks properly quick, b) there’s a definite whiff of V12 to that engine note and c) the whole thing looks rather close to finished.
The DB9 is now over 10 years old, and though it’s been updated through its life, remains underpinned by Aston’s venerable ‘VH’ architecture.
While the new DB9 GT is, as we discovered this week, entirely excellent, it’s the last hurrah for this era of AM. And we know a few salient details that offer more than a tantalising insight into the future of Aston’s line-up.
We know, for example, that Aston is working on a new chassis that will underpin the next generation of its sportscar, GT and supercar line-up, confirmed last year by Aston’s chief financial officer, Hanno Kirner.
“We are engineering a completely new architecture and technologies to ensure our next generation of sports car is at the forefront of design,” Kirner told us.
We also know that new boss Andy Palmer – formerly of Nissan, remember – is keen to develop a greater differentiation between Aston’s next sports car (Vantage replacement), its next GT (DB9 replacement), and its next supercar (Vanquish replacement). And don’t forget the DBX crossover is on the way, too.
Then there’s the much-publicised union with Mercedes, a deal which will see Aston Martin get bespoke V8 engines from AMG, and electrical and electronic architecture from the Daimler stable. Though from both the noises emerging from Aston, and indeed from this test mule, it seems the DB9 replacement probably won’t get the AMG V8s, at least not to begin with.
Which means there’s no death knell for Gaydon’s big V12. Yay. Aston design chief Marek Reichmann told TopGear.com last year that “the V12 is a core part of our brand. It’s very important to us.”
As ever more stringent emissions regulations bite, however, it’ll have to evolve. “There are various ways to downsize and become more efficient,” Reichmann told us, “so we are committed to the V12.” Thank goodness for that.
Then there was the news at the tail end of last year that Lotus’ chief engineer of more than 25 years, Matt Becker, would be leaving Hethel to join the renaissance over at Gaydon.
Speaking to TopGear.com at the time, Aston confirmed that Becker would become the ‘chief engineer of vehicle attribute engineering’, with responsibilities for vehicle dynamics, noise/vibration/harshness, aero and durability.
So underneath, all is looking rosy for the new Aston GT. But what about the design, arguably Aston’s USP? It’s all about the formal wear, we’re told. “The next DB9 will remain the gentleman’s express – the ‘tuxedo of speed’,” Reichmann says.
Hints of the styling of the DB9’s successor might be found in James Bond’s new ride, the DB10. And if you know that car, you’ll know it looks good.
The next Geneva Motor Show – in March 2016 – is the earliest we are likely to see the next DB9 in production form, with the first cars being delivered before the end of 2016.
A new platform engineered by a Lotus handling expert. Engines with AMG know-how, electrics from Benz, and looks via 007. We’re rather excited by Aston’s renaissance – are you?