Replacing the DB7, the biggest-selling Aston ever with more than 7000 made, the DB9 will go on sale in the Spring of 2004. The new car will be built at Aston Martin’s new factory at Gaydon, in Warwickshire, near the site of the Heritage Motor Centre.

Arguably the DB line, named after the company’s owner, David Brown, began with the DB2 in 1949 – because the DB1 acquired its title retrospectively, being known at the time simply as the ‘Aston Martin Two Litre Sports’.

From 1958 the title was associated with a range of fast sports coupés powered by a six-cylinder engine designed by Tadek Marek. The final David Brown Astons were the DBS and DBS V8 of 1972. The DB name was then revived for the DB7 two decades later.

The 2+2 DB9 uses a 450bhp version of the Aston Martin V12 engine currently built by Cosworth Technology at Wellingborough. Production of Aston Martin engines is set to move to a new facility at Cologne in Germany in 2004.

The new model also uses what Aston calls a ‘Vertical/Horizontal Platform Strategy’, meaning that its underpinnings will be shared by all future Aston Martin models, including the smaller V8 Aston which debuted in concept form earlier this year.