A Bentley Continental GT will always be a fun drive, but it no longer immediately transfers class and elegance onto the driver. An Aston Martin DB9 always makes us think someone in a finely-tailored Savile Row suit is about to emerge from of the driver's seat.
The latest iteration is of the DB9 doesn't change much, aesthetically, but they've managed to take DB9's sumptuous 5.9-liter V12 up to 510 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. There are cars with more power, but few cars that are more visibly powerful.
To understand the difference between an automaker like Aston Martin and an automaker like Ford, just read their press releases. The grille on the new Ford Escape is connected via a "beveled" surface. The DB9's new grille? It has five horizontal vanes that were "chamfered" to create a an aerofoil-like profile.
More important for those who want to go fast as opposed to merely looking fast, there's the aforementioned power boost of approximately 40 horsepower and 15 lb-ft of torque. There are also standard carbon ceramic matrix discs from Brembo, an adaptive damping system, and a generous use of carbon fiber and kevlar.
They've killed off the Aston Martin Virage, but they've brought the Virage feel into the DB9, which is to say they've just made the new DB9 the old Virage. The price for all this? It starts at $185,400 and will quickly expand into bespoke territory, because who buys a base DB9?