2013 Aston Martin DB9 Spy Photos

What It Is: The next-generation Aston Martin DB9 being tested in the United Kingdom. This coupe and Volante—both of which will be available from the car’s launch—were spotted without any sort of camouflage, and we’re told the production versions will look no different when they make their debut. The cars borrow a number of visual cues—including what appears to be their entire front-end treatments—from their Viragecounterparts.

Why It Matters: In response to the luxury-car horsepower war taking place in Europe, Aston bestowed the brand-new Vanquish with a 55-hp bump compared to the DBS it replaces; the next Rapide is set to get a horsepower increase, too. In order to keep up, Aston needs to similarly reinforce the DB9. We hear that the new car will receive a number of components from the 20-hp-stronger Virage and updates derived from the Vanquish. The updated styling will keep it looking fresh, too, an important consideration among the playboy jet set.

Platform: The next DB9 will use a version of Aston’s fourth-generation VH architecture. Although the same bones form the basis of the Vanquish, the DB9 will not feature any of the carbon-fiber body panels or structural reinforcement that’s abundant in the new range-topper. The active damping system that was added to the DB9 lineup for 2011 will carry over, providing Normal, Sport, and Track driving modes, which will work in tandem with the car’s automatic gearbox. The new car also will be sold in two distinct dynamic levels: one serving as a base-like model, and the other featuring more performance upgrades.

Powertrain: Surprise! Everyone’s favorite thunderous 5.9-liter V-12 will continue to motivate the DB9. The V-12 should approach 500 hp, up from the current DB9’s 470 hp. Not only will the new grand tourer be more powerful, it also will become more fuel efficient.

Competition: Bentley Continental GT/GTC, Ferrari F12berlinetta, Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG.

Estimated Arrival and Price: Look for the next DB9 to make its debut at the Paris auto show this fall before going on sale next year as a 2013 model. The starting price for a DB9 currently is $193,730, and we can’t imagine that it will decrease on the 2013 model

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