The Russians have redesigned the Aston Martin DB9 | Top Gear
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The Russians have redesigned the Aston Martin DB9

Oddly named Cardi M442 exhibits whole new look for Aston's icon. Like it or not?

Published: 22 Apr 2016
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The Aston Martin DB9. You will be aware that it’s quite pretty. A car design not really crying out for modification.

And yet people keep trying. There’s the Kahn Vengeance and Zagato Centennial, for instance. To them, you can add this Cardi M442.

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What sounds like football-themed knitwear is actually a Russian redesign for Aston’s departing GT car. And that's just its codename for now, for it exists only in renders. But this is a realistic glimpse of an end product that will share no sheet metal with the DB9.

And it looks… different. There’s an undeniable simplicity to its side profile, where it’s arguably an even cleaner car than the DB9. The M442 also exhibits a neat C-pillar-mounted filler cap and elegant, elongated windows. We’re hoping they’ll all wind down, creating the open-air coupe feel of a big Mercedes or the mighty BMW 8-Series.

But at the front and rear, things get a little more heavy-handed. There are many grilles. Slim, squinting lights. It’s a much more aggressive proposition than the Aston.

The interior grabs our attention more, with its vast swathes of presumably fine, expensive wood, a very fancy speedo and a steering wheel that appears to hark back to the good old days of the British sports car. The good old days where designers weren’t presented with nasty obstacles, like the driver’s safety…

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"The interior concept is based on the visual and emotional separation of driver’s and passenger’s areas," Cardi tels us. "They will be divided by colour as well as by different finishing materials." Perfect for when you and your other half can never agree on anything.

Despite the DB11 now being a thing, Cardi is in no hurry to get its DB9 out the door, quoting the word's of Russian poet Pushkin, “great does not tolerate hustle”. Wow.

They're confident it's a fitting tribute to the DB9, too, telling TG this: "We hope that our colleages from England will not take offence to the fact that we used their wonderful in all respects car as a base. In our turn, we will try to achieve the result worthy of the spirit of the legendary brand with 100 years of history."

We want to know what you think, though. Is the Cardi 442 a worthy relation to Aston? Or should the Russians leave well alone?

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