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Paris show: Aston drops Virage for facelifted DB9

Familiar face: Aston martin dropped the Virage after just 18 months on sale but it lives on in the shape of a facelifted DB9, which also gets a power and torque upgrade.

Facelifted Aston Martin DB9 shares much with now-defunct Virage but packs more power

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Aston Martin logo20 Sep 2012

UPDATED: 24/09/2012ASTON MARTIN has ditched the Virage just 18 months after it launched, appearing to have all but rebadged it to create the facelifted 2013 model year DB9, while piling in extra power and torque.

Australian Aston dealers have already taken a number of orders for the updated DB9, which is almost $12,500 less expensive than before at $349,400 (plus on-road costs) for the coupe and $380,500 for the Volante convertible, with first deliveries are due in December.

Much of the Virage’s bodywork – and even its alloy wheel design – has been transplanted on to the new DB9 – that will make its public world debut at next week’s Paris motor show – but the new car gets a more pronounced integrated boot lid spoiler for improved aerodynamics.

Under the bonnet beats a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 380kW of power and 620Nm of torque – matching the DBS for power while generating 50Nm more torque and trouncing the outgoing 350kW/600Nm DB9 and 365kW/570Nm Virage.

As a result, 0-100km/h is done in 4.6 seconds – two tenths quicker – but maximum speed is 295km/h, down from 306km/h.

The engine represents a significant update to Aston’s venerable V12, borrowing from the Vanquish flagship with a redeveloped block and new cylinder heads incorporating variable valve timing and machined combustion chambers, fed by a revised intake manifold and uprated fuel pump.

To help the new DB9 comply with the latest European pedestrian impact legislation without altering its looks or resorting to an active pop-up system, the engine is mounted lower than before below a new bonnet and Aston redesigned the front bumper construction and grille surround moulding.

Aston has upgraded the DB9’s brakes with standard Brembo cross-drilled carbon-ceramic discs, which at the front are 398mm in diameter with six-piston callipers and 360mm in diameter at the rear with four-piston callipers.

Rather than going for the latest, partially carbon-fibre iteration of Aston Martin’s VH (vertical, horizontal) underpinnings as used on the Vanquish, the DB9 carries over a version of the Virage’s all-metal structure, reportedly on cost grounds.

The latest version of Aston’s adaptive damping system is standard on the new DB9, with Normal, Sport and Track modes available for comfortable cruising, sharper back-road blasts or high-precision racetrack tyre toasting.

Inside is a Virage-inspired cabin update with higher quality materials, more creature comforts and leather ‘welt’ contrast piping that debuted on the now-defunct car.

Carbon packs for the interior and exterior can be specified for customers wanting a bit of personalisation.

The exterior carbon pack comprises clear-lacquered carbon weave for the front splitter, rear diffuser, door mirror arms and housings and dark-coloured tailpipes.

For the interior, the weave can be applied to the upper fascia, gear-shift paddles and door pulls.

Other cabin options include a choice of DB9 or Aston Martin wings emblem embroidery on the head restraints and a leather headlining.

The DB9 tops off a busy 2012 for Aston Martin, with the production V12 Vantage-based, highly-exclusive Zagato coupe debuting at Geneva in March, the new Vanquish unveiled in June and the V12 Vantage Roadster announced in July.

Aston Martin marketing and communications manager for Asia Pacific, Marcel Fabris, told GoAuto pre-orders for the new Vanquish have “continued to be very strong since its announcement”.

He said the DBS-replacing flagship is being toured around dealerships in Australia and New Zealand to provide private viewings for existing Aston Martin owners and those who have expressed interest.

Mr Fabris also confirmed the two V12 Vantage Roadsters allocated to Australia have been sold.

2012 Aston Martin DB9 pricing*
Coupe$349,400
Volante convertible$380,500
*Plus on-road costs

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