The Aston Martin DB9 replacement is due to go on sale in 2016
In base form, the new car could come with as much as 503bhp
A modified front-end design and wider bonnet can be seen here
The new car might not carry the DB9 name
Power will come from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine supplied by Mercedes-AMG
This early test mule wears bodywork from the current DB9
The new Aston Martin DB10, which will be used in the upcoming James Bond film Spectre, closely previews the look of the new car
This Autocar image shows how the DB9 replacement might look
These are reportedly the first pictures of Aston Martin's DB9 replacement testing. The new model, which is due to go on sale in 2016, has been spotted at the Nürburgring.
This early mule is understood to be testing chassis and internal components, and wears lightly modified bodywork from the current DB9.
Aston Martin executives have already admitted the new car might not carry the DB9 name. Speaking to Autocar last year, Aston Martin design director Marek Reichman said: "It’ll definitely be a DB, but what number will follow that is yet to be decided.”
Reichman also hasn't ruled out simply reusing the existing name – an idea some senior Aston executives are known to be keen on.
The car is unlikely to carry the DB10 name, with that designation going to the car which will accompany James Bond on his 24th big screen adventure, Spectre. The styling of the DB10 is understood to closely preview that of the DB9 replacement.
The new DB9 will be built around an all-new bonded aluminium platform and is set to be powered by a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine designed and built by Mercedes-AMG.
AMG will not provide a bespoke version for Aston. Instead, off-the-shelf engines will be modified to sound, respond and feel like an Aston Martin engine. Spy photographers have reported a particularly loud sound coming from this early test mule.
Modifications would extend to bespoke engine management and exhaust systems and possibly revised turbo boost pressures but no internal mechanical changes.
Even if no more power is liberated, the base 503bhp tune of the new V8 is close to the 510bhp of the existing 5.9-litre V12, but it comes with 479lb ft at just 1750rpm, compared to 457lb ft at 5500rpm for the current unit.
Installed in a car claimed by an insider to be “dramatically” lighter, performance will improve. Economy and emissions figures are also set to be 20 per cent better than those of the current DB9.
The motor will be mated to Mercedes’ new nine-speed automatic transmission. In the meantime, the existing DB9 will use the old six-speed ZF unit rather than be upgraded to a new ZF eight-speed unit.
Reichman said the shape of the new car would be more than an evolution of the current model. “There’ll be a little more revolution in it,” he said. “It will be unmistakably an Aston and a DB at that, but it will look fresh and modern.”
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