Aston Martin Upgrades the DB9 for 2013

The iconic Aston Martin DB9 is redesigned and re-equipped for the 2013 model year.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

I know your problem. You’ve always liked the  Aston Martin DB9, but you’ve held off on buying a couple because the $185,000 luxury performance just wasn’t special enough.

Aston Martin heard your cry and upgraded the 2013 DB9 inside and out, upgrading the engine and tweaking the external styling.

Timed to play off of the hype buzz of the upcoming Paris Auto Show, the 2013 DB9 upgrade takes a page from the new Vanquish – another Aston Martin staple getting ready for a rebirth this year. Like the Vanquish, the DB9 is getting Gen4 VH architecture hardware to aid its new AM11 V12 engine.

The power plant takes some of the ‘Gen4’ VH architecture hardware technology developed for Aston Martin’s super GT James Bond mobile, the Vanquish. They tuned it down a bit for the DB9, but you still get an engine that puts out a spine-wrenching 510 horsepower and 457 lb.ft. of torque. That means Aston Martin added 40 horsepower to a car that was already silly fast.

Aston Martin is quick to point out that this is not the be all and end all of their line. In fact, the company’s own descriptions puts the DB9 at the “heart” (or, read “middle”) of their performance line. The limited edition Zagato from last year and the 2013 Vanquish Super GT muscle each other around as the would-be king of the Aston Martin hill.

The main features of the AM11 engine include a revised block and new heads including dual variable valve timing, enlarged throttle bodies, uprated fuel pump, revised intake manifold and machined combustion chambers.

With those 510 horses pushing the DB9 along, the driver is obviously going to need some pretty serious reigns to bring it all to a stop. So, a bigger, lower front grille forces air into the Carbon Ceramic Braking system. More importantly, that braking kit comes as standard equipment – while other supercar makers force buyers to add such equipment as part of a trim package.

Aston Martin says the car’s new front splitter makes the car more aerodynamically responsive – while also serving to “widen the car” (at least visually). Personally, I don’t see a significant difference as the DB9 – and, indeed, the entire Astobn Martin performance line – already possesses that low, wide, hooded eye look.

The DB9 looks to take some of its sweeping body shapes from the now retired Virage, But that flip and upward curve doesn’t get rid of the Aston Martin’s traditional squat, muscled-up aura. The new car’s most striking feature has to be the new front grille – more or less lifted from last year’s sold out Aston Supercar – the One-77.

That’s not to say the back end – with its massively think, big contact patch tires and swollen haunches – won’t also draw attention.

In short, a car that was already much in demand and at the top of many car enthusiast wish lists just got a little better and should remain high on any gearhead’s drool board.