By: IOL Motoring Staff

The new Aston Martin DB9 has arrived in South Africa to tempt the well-heeled with a subtle evolution of everything they love about James Bond's favourite automotive brand.

With just 60 percent of the body panels having been redesigned, the new sports car has a familiar look about it, but there are still plenty of gains on the technological front.

While the brand's local agent, the Daytona Group, can't confirm an exact price, our contact says that owners can expect to part with around R4-million - the exact 'landing price' depends on the exchange rate at the time. The first deliveries are set to take place this month and those ordering their cars from the factory will wait around eight weeks.

In our opinion the biggest reward for that wait is the DB9's new generation, and consequently more powerful, six-litre AM11 V12 engine. The company quotes peak power of 380kW at 6500rpm and a torque output of 620Nm at 5500rpm. Against the clock, it's said to be 0.2 seconds quicker from 0-100km/h, making the dash in 4.6 seconds. Stopping quicker has been made a priority too, with the fitment of a new Carbon Ceramic braking system.

More enthusiastic drivers will no doubt look forward to the stiffer chassis and the re-engineered adaptive damping system that offers 'Normal', 'Sport' and 'Track' modes.

Improvements to the Coupe's structure, which is hewn mostly of bonded aluminium, make it 20 percent stiffer than before, and 30 percent in the case of the open-top Volante model.

While the engineers were busy plotting its twisty asphalt aptitude, the stylists spent some time decorating the hand-crafted office. Highlights include the new hand-stitched 'leather welt' seat trim and 'jewel-like' glass switchgear used throughout.

The DB9 will be available through Daytona's two dealerships, situated in Sandton (011 301 7100) and Cape Town (021 425 2007).

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