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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.
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.
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.
Under the hood, each car gets a stamped badge with the name of the final inspector who let the car out of the factory.
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.
The power top operates easily from a switch on the center console. It's not the fastest we've seen.
With the top up, road noise is muted, as the convertible offers solid insulation.
These 19-inch wheels are the most expensive option on the car, although only $1,510.
The DB9 uses aluminum wishbone suspension components fore and aft, lacking the kinds of active suspension technologies found on other cars.
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.
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.
One of the highlights of the DB9 Volante is the coachwork. The cabin uses beautiful wood and leather.
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.
The dashboard offers a surprising amount of modern technology for a car so ensconced in British tradition.
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.
Paddle shifters for the six speed automatic transmission are mounted to the steering column.
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.
You choose the drive modes for the automatic transmission from buttons at the top of the stack. A manual transmission is also available.
This joystick controls most of the car electronics, such as navigation and phone.
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.
The navigation system itself is hard-drive-based, and reacts quickly to commands. Unfortunately, it lacks advanced features such as traffic.
The radio display is used for music and phone information. We like the iPod integration.
Beyond iPod, other audio sources include satellite radio, USB, six disc changer with MP3 capability, and a regular auxiliary plug.
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.
The Bluetooth phone integration is very good, reading contact list information from a paired phone.