421 g/km of CO2 isn't the point; the removal of the anaesthetic feel of the DB9's steering
The cabin is as desirable as ever
First DriveAston's DB9 bows out of its 13-year run with GT edition. We drive it on UK roads and to Le Mans to see if it's the best yet
First DriveThe 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
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.