Aston Martin launched the imposing DB9 V12, and Jaguar introduced a radical 186 kW V6 diesel-engined concept at the Frankfurt motor show this week.

Aston Martin launched the imposing DB9 V12, and Jaguar introduced a radical 186 kW V6 diesel-engined concept at the Frankfurt motor show this week.

The DB9 is not only the replacement for the DB7, but the first of three all-new aluminium-chassis sports cars due to be unveiled by the PAG brand. Dimensionally, the DB9 is roughly the same size as the outgoing car, but new underpinnings allow Aston to push the wheels farther to the corners for more cabin space and better handling.

The bonded-alloy frame is a next-generation version of the one under the Vanquish, where extrusions, castings and pressings are heat-bonded for a stiff and lightweight structure.

The DB9's body was designed by Henrik Fisker, Aston's design chief who now runs Ford's advanced concepts studio in California. According to , Fisker tightened the lines of the DB7 and Vanquish, making a tauter, more sophisticated look.

Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be offered. The manual comes from Graziano of Italy, supplier to Maserati and Ferrari, while the auto is sourced from ZF.

Significantly, Aston claims a respectable 1 708 kg curb weight for the manual-equipped DB9 V12, which is 126 kg lighter than a Vanquish and 22 kg lighter than a Ferrari 575M.

Power comes from a version of Aston's Cosworth-designed 5,9-litre 60-degree V12, fitted with uprated crankshaft, camshafts, manifolds, lubrication and engine management.

Peak power is reputed to be 335 kW and maximum torque is 559 N.m, of which 80 per cent is available from 1 500 r/min. And performance claims? Aston Martin says a top speed of 300 km/h, and a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 4,7 seconds.

Weight distribution is 50-50, thanks to an engine set well back in the car and a transaxle gearbox/differential combination. A hefty torque tube of cast alloy with a carbon fibre propshaft links the clutch and transaxle, reports say.

On the inside of the DB9 is the usual olde worlde English fare - hand-stitched leather dash, bold wood trim and complex milled-aluminium instruments.

Jaguar R-D6

Many readers are debating whether a vehicle that is styled like a two-door, but has four doors, can be called a coupé - especially so after published a story about the Mercedes Vision CLS concept on Wednesday.

And as was the case with the Mazda RX-8, the CLS and the Subaru B11S concept (which was unveiled at the Geneva Show), Jaguar has put its own spin on the four-door “coupé” concept with the RD-6 – complete with rear-hinging doors and an E-type-inspired side-hinging tailgate.

Observers say the car indicates much of Jaguar's future design and engineering direction. The XK replacement and new S-Type will incorporate significant design cues from the R-D6; the rear lights for the XK and nose treatment for the S-Type.

The R-D6 has combined air intake/fog lamp details under the headlights. According to , the tight overhangs, metalwork pulled tautly around the wheels and ground-hugging stance "all point to an aggressive new look for future Jaguar production saloons".

Engineers have sliced nearly 20 cm from the XJ's wheelbase to make this concept, and a similar trick will create the structure for the next XK.

D6 refers to the potent V6 turbodiesel powerplant installed in the concept. It produces 186 kW and 490 N.m of torque in the concept and Jaguar says the R-D6 will reach a limited top speed of 250 km/h and sprint from zero to 100 km/h in under six seconds.

Original article from Car