The successor to the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage, the DB9 was presented as a sleeker, more powerful personal luxury vehicle. Even through the car follows the DB7, Aston Martin elected to use the DB9 nameplate to avoid speculation the vehicle would be V-8 powered. Debuting in 2004, the Aston Martin DB9 featured a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that was lifted from the V12 Vanquish. Amounting to 444 horsepower, engine performance for the DB9 was directed through a six-speed manual or a six-speed ZF automatic transmission. A coupe and Volante convertible version of the Aston Martin DB9 was immediately introduced utilizing the extensive use of aluminum for its body and chassis. In 2009, the Aston Martin DB9 received a series of handling and performance upgrades including an upgrade to a 470 horsepower engine. A new version of Aston Martin's Adaptive Damping System was added to the DB9 for 2012. For what would be the final year of the DB9, 2016 features a new DB9 GT featuring an updated sport appearance and 540 horsepower. The DB9 is being replaced by an all-new Aston Martin DB11 starting in 2017.