From £125,050
More responsive steering characterises the DB9's sport pack. The ride is lively, there is sufficient compliance in this gentleman's hot rod.

Our Verdict

Aston Martin DB9
The Aston Martin DB9 is a V12-engined grand tourer

The Aston Martin DB9 matches the emotion of a Ferrari but it adds practicality and offers an experience unmatched for versatility and all-round appeal

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    The new Aston Martin DB9 might cost a great deal more than the car it replaces, but it is able to ask serious questions of the £190k Vanquish
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What's new?

Ever since the Aston Martin DB9 won its first Autocar group test a couple of years ago, the car has been a favourite of ours. Gorgeous styling, luxurious cabin, brilliant engine noise, ease of driving and quality of build have all won it fans.

But there’s always been a mild debate about the ride and handling on UK roads. Is the ride sufficiently composed for a GT? Is the steering sufficiently responsive? And is there enough traction? Privately, even Aston high-ups admit the springs and dampers could be improved.

Which explains why a new Sport pack is now a £2495 factory-fit option on the coupé, which comes with either a manual or auto ’box. The pack gives you lightweight wheels that save 1.5kg per corner, stiffer springs, a thicker front anti-roll bar and an alloy ‘shear’ panel bolted under the front subframe.

What's it like?

Sharper steering is the most obvious improvement, so where a DB9’s steering is mildly anaesthetised, the Sport pack adds feel and responsiveness on turn-in.

Even at lower speeds it’s noticeable, translating into greater driver confidence. As you’d expect, stiffer springs enliven the low-speed ride, but there’s surprising compliance over bigger bumps. Its lively character is maintained on the motorway; keener drivers will love its edge, but those searching for a more relaxing ride won’t be so enamoured.

That lively character defines the back-road drive, too, the car working the driver hard and demanding constant input.

Should I buy one?

We’ve previously described the DB9 as a gentleman’s hot rod. The Sport pack simply makes it even hotter and all the more enjoyable.

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