Aston Martin DB9 replacement due next year
Aston Martin’s new CEO, Andy Palmer, laid his cards on the table at the recent Geneva show with details on an unprecedented range expansion over the next five years. These are the first spy shots of the new DB9 replacement, due in the next 12 months, which will be followed by a V8 Vantage successor, a raised SUV-style model based on the DBX concept, an “ultimate sports car”, replacements for the Rapide and Vanquish and more luxury models wearing the Lagonda badge.
While Aston is working hard on an all-new platform to underpin the V8 Vantage successor, designed to accommodate an AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 plus a new Mercedes electrical architecture, the DB9 will be based on a modified version of the existing car’s bonded aluminium VH chassis.
A quick check of this test mule’s number plate online confirms that, as suspected, there’s the familiar 6.0-litre V12 under the bonnet, likely to be tuned for more power and better fuel economy than the current car’s figures of 510bhp and 19.8mpg.
Whether the production car will be powered by an AMG V8 as well as a V12 is unclear, but unlikely – the debut of the AMG-built V8 is expected to be saved for the new Vantage, due in 2017. In Geneva, Palmer also told us the purpose of the all-electric DBX is to help preserve the V12 for at least another generation: “You can either go down the obvious route of your V12 becomes a V8, your V8 becomes a V6 and your V6 becomes an I4 [four-cylinder engine].
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"That gets you down along the curve and reduces your average, but you end up with a car that sounds pretty bad. The alternative is you can prolong the life of your V12s and your V8s by doing a zero-emissions car to give you compensation.”
What the car will ultimately be badged is also up in the air, although Aston has said in the past that it won’t necessarily inherit the DB9 name. DB10 seems unlikely as that’s been given to the latest Bond car (which, we’re told, will provide the styling inspiration for DB9 successor), leaving DB11 as a current front-runner.
Aston’s aim is to create a greater design distinction between the DB9 and V8 Vantage replacements, giving the former a softer, more “gentile” appearance, with the latter taking a more aggressive approach, as shown with the Vulcan track-only supercar.