Aston's s Morning Frost is a stunning grand tourer, offering a refreshingly traditional supercar experience. That’s not to say it isn’t modern; it just puts you in touch with the road. If your priorities are comfort and luxury, with a dash of excitement, this special DB9 Volante fits the bill perfectly. It offers dramatic open-air thrills and an amazing soundtrack. And with tweaks such as adaptive dampers, an updated gearbox and thicker roof, the Aston is now the fine high-performance drop-top it always should have been.
Supercars are designed to make you feel special. And Aston Martin is aiming to do just that with its latest DB9 Volante: the Morning Frost. The first of a trio of DB9 special editions, which demonstrates the company’s ability to individually tailor a car to suit your needs, the newcomer is proclaimed as the most comfortable and luxurious DB9 yet – so does it succeed?
At £141,720, it costs £4,380 more than the standard Volante. On the outside, it’s difficult to see where that money has gone, although the unique pearlescent white paintwork does a great job of showcasing the DB9’s sculpted curves. Even after seven years, the car is still beautiful, especially with the roof stowed.
The hand-finished interior also hides its age well. The Morning Frost gets some extra special touches, including laser-etched plaques that sit in the door sills, as well as piano black trim down the centre console and on the internal door handles. Plus, the new Metallic Bronze dark leather trim contrasts pleasingly with the sparkling white exterior.
When we drove the facelifted drop-top in Issue 1,134, we loved the Thinsulate canvas hood – it does a fantastic job of preventing any unwanted noise disturbing the hushed cabin. The Bilstein adaptive dampers borrowed from the sportier DBS greatly improve ride comfort, too. They constantly adjust to bumps in the road, striking the best balance between comfort and body control. In addition, you can switch between Normal and Sport modes, which makes a big change to how the DB9 behaves. In Normal, the big coupé glides over imperfections, while Sport setting firms everything up for when you want to exploit the glorious 6.0-litre V12 engine, providing a harsher ride and quicker responses through corners.
The charismatic powerplant remains the biggest dynamic highlight, though. It gives the Aston a fabulous, snarling soundtrack that’s best enjoyed with the roof down (even on a cold February day).
And although this is supposedly a ‘softer’ version, the mountain of torque available makes for truly rapid progress when you plant your right foot to the floor. As with the engine, the steering offers something a little bit different from the supercar norm. It’s far heavier than anything you would find in a Ferrari or AMG-tuned Mercedes, but is just as accurate, and the added effort required makes driving all the more rewarding.
The six-speed Touchtronic auto box is equally intuitive, whether left in Drive or using the steering wheel-mounted paddles. Push the Sport button, and a digital display in the dash shows which gear you’re in; this turns red when it’s time to change up. It’s not as lightning fast as the latest dual-clutch systems, but shifts are still admirably quick and smooth.
Aston claims that the DB9 is a 2+2, but in reality, it’s a two-seater, with the back bench best used for carrying luggage. The only other negatives are the limited rear visibility, and the fact that the Volante can’t quite match the road-holding poise of the hard-top. But this special edition is still the most desirable DB9 drop-top yet.