"Grooving is more efficient than cross drilling," says David King. "The pads are kept cleaner and work more effectively. Also, brake pad dust can block cross-drilled discs, which reduces braking performance."
The callipers are made from a single casting, rather than being fabricated in two halves and then bolted together. This increases strength and rigidity and gives superior braking performance at high speeds.
"This project was such a pleasure to work on," comments King. "We really could start from scratch in just about every area which rarely happens in the car business. We were not fighting compromises, such as having to adapt a saloon car component into a sports car."
Braking is improved by Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), which is computer controlled to optimise the front-to-rear brake balance, and by Brake Assist - in which the car's electronics detect when the driver wants to emergency brake and automatically applies maximum braking force, cutting stopping distance. There's also the latest anti-lock (ABS) system, which prevents the car skidding or sliding out of control.
LED tail lamps improve rear lighting performance and also react quicker - in braking, for example - than conventional incandescent bulbs. Their design in the DB9 is novel: the tail and brake lamps project through a reflector, which disperses the rays more evenly, further improving lighting performance. This also gets rid of the little 'hot spots' that make up most LED tail lamps. Rather than a series of clearly visible dots, the light is one solid block.
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is standard. DSC is an advanced electronic control system that continually analyses wheel speeds, steering angle and yaw rate. It reduces the risk of skids by automatically applying braking to individual wheels, or reducing engine torque.
The DB9's entire electrical architecture is state-of-the-art, the result of a partnership with fellow Premier Automotive Group member Volvo, which uses multiplex electrical systems in its product range. "It's a high volume but very advanced system, exactly what we wanted," says Aston Martin's Chief Engineer for Electrical and Electronics Sean Morris. "Every module on the car talks to every other module."
The air conditioning and climate control system is one of the most compact and efficient units in production.