What is it?
Strange how car makers often leave the best until last. Here’s Aston Martin’s five-year-old DB9 Volante going through its second mid-life tweak, with just a couple of years of life left, and it has hit the jackpot.
The changes are minimal, really, but what an effect. Visually, there are a few external styling tweaks to the grille, bumpers and tail-lights.
But crucially, the Volante also gets new computer-controlled Bilstein dampers, managed by mapping that shows Aston’s engineers can create a nicely balanced yet compliant chassis still capable of very good body control.
What’s it like?
In so doing, they’ve fed some Jaguar-style sophistication into the DB9’s chassis. What a contrast to the first-gen Volante, a soggy and ill-disciplined machine.
The foundations for this transformation were laid in the DB9’s 2010 model year revisions late last year.
A new cross-car beam with beefed-up support for the steering column sharpened the steering and a shear panel stiffener for the front subframe eradicated front-end waywardness.
Aston introduced Bilstein dampers in place of Multimatic units back then, but they still operated with distinct bump/rebound steps. And there was just one setting. For better body control, you needed to spec the sports chassis, with the inevitably compromised ride.