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2009 Aston Martin DB9 Volante photos

The DB9 Volante, in the stratosphere of automotive design, gets updated cabin gadgets for personal electronics, but its engine and suspension remain in the last millennium.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Aston Martin is currently undergoing a rebirth, as it was sold by Ford in 2007 to a private investment group. The 2009 model most clearly shows the influence of the new owners.
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2 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Aston Martin models have always shown the very best in automotive design, and the 2009 DB9 Volante continues this trend. Note the curved aperture for the headlight casing.
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3 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Although gadgets such as navigation and Bluetooth are standard, there are some options on this car, such as the grille, which has a brighter look than the standard.
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4 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Under the hood, each car gets a stamped badge with the name of the final inspector who let the car out of the factory.
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5 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Although it has 12 cylinders and 6 liters of displacement, the engine isn't technically advanced by today's standards, lacking variable valve timing and other efficiencies.
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6 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The power top operates easily from a switch on the center console. It's not the fastest we've seen.
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7 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
With the top up, road noise is muted, as the convertible offers solid insulation.
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8 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
These 19-inch wheels are the most expensive option on the car, although only $1,510.
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9 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The DB9 uses aluminum wishbone suspension components fore and aft, lacking the kinds of active suspension technologies found on other cars.
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10 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The twin exhausts are fairly quiet when the car is running under 3,000rpm, but the exhaust note gets very pleasing when you run the engine speed up to 4,000.
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11 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
In good, British tradition, an umbrella comes standard with the car. But it's about the only thing that can fit in this trunk, where space is compromised by the convertible top.
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12 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
One of the highlights of the DB9 Volante is the coachwork. The cabin uses beautiful wood and leather.
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13 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Even the rocker panels get a little leather trim around the Aston Martin badge. This spot is where you would put your hand as you get out of the car.
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14 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The dashboard offers a surprising amount of modern technology for a car so ensconced in British tradition.
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15 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Plastic buttons attached below the spokes of the steering wheel are very functional, but look a little cheap when compared with the nice leather around them.
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16 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Paddle shifters for the six speed automatic transmission are mounted to the steering column.
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17 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
We particularly like the instrument cluster in this car. The gauges counter-rotate, and have little displays for trip information and a digital speed read-out.
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18 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
You choose the drive modes for the automatic transmission from buttons at the top of the stack. A manual transmission is also available.
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19 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
This joystick controls most of the car electronics, such as navigation and phone.
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20 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The navigation LCD hides under this wood panel when not in use. We weren't impressed with its fit and finish, as it seemed hacked into place.
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21 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The navigation system itself is hard-drive-based, and reacts quickly to commands. Unfortunately, it lacks advanced features such as traffic.
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22 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The radio display is used for music and phone information. We like the iPod integration.
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23 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Beyond iPod, other audio sources include satellite radio, USB, six disc changer with MP3 capability, and a regular auxiliary plug.
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24 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
A 700-watt audio system comes as standard, with a big speaker grille between the back seats. You can also upgrade to a 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen system.
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25 of 25 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The Bluetooth phone integration is very good, reading contact list information from a paired phone.

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