OPEN the door of an Aston Martin DB9 and there’s a plaque proclaiming ‘hand built in England’.
That’s a rare sight in these days of mass production and the dominance of overseas manufacturers in the UK market.
But this is British exclusivity at its best and people the world over clamour for cars bearing the famous winged badge.
With its future now safe in British hands after the recent separation from Ford, Aston Martin is driving ahead.
The last car built at the historic Newport Pagnell workshops may have been completed last week but there is a whole new generation of finely finished models ready and waiting to roll from a new production facility at Gaydon in Warwickshire.
This is where the DB9 is built and the marque’s recent performance at the Le Mans 24-hour race underlines the fact it means business and is back at the heart of its heritage.
Away from the race track Aston Martin remains the epitome of automotive engineering and the DB9 is compelling.
Fire up the 5.9-litre V12 engine at just the push of a button and the soundtrack of power seduces.
Classic features such as a fly-off handbrake – what else with such a sporting pedigree – and a stiff but fast gear gate are characteristics of old.
But hand built does not mean low tech and the DB9 is equipped with satellite navigation and Bluetooth phone connectivity not to mention parking sensors, cruise control and electronic stability systems.
And unlike some other supercars, the trip computer is not ashamed to show an instant fuel read out.
Despite its power and performance – 450bhp equates to a top speed of 186mph and 0 to 60 acceleration of 4.7 seconds – the DB9 is relatively economical.
Almost 18mpg is possible overall and at cruising speed you will see consumption figures in the 30s which is better than most in this league.
The six speed manual box eases as you work through the gears but the suspension is definitely tuned for performance.
At £109,750 the DB9 Coupe competes with the best Mercedes, Ferrari and, more recently, Audi have to offer.
As with all cars of this ilk its road presence is phenomenal but inside an Aston Martin is in a league of its own. They are simply gorgeous.
This one was finished with piano black trim in the centre stack and door cappings while the instrumentation and switchgear would not look out of place on the most exclusive of hi-fi systems.
Four seats are fitted but only the front two are really usable while the boot at 186 litres is little more than a MINI.
It’s not overpriced and it’s not overstated but a supreme statement of automotive craftsmanship only we can produce.