Aston Martin has a new range-topper: the DBS coupe was the most expensive Aston on sale, and now the Volante version is shown for the first time today. Aston won't thank us for saying it, but think of this as a DB9 Volante that's been given the DBS makeover.
Those DBS-specific tweaks that turn DB9 into DBS are pretty substantial, mind. The DBS Volante packs the 6.0-litre V12 with a punchy 510bhp and 420lb ft, so this is one wig-worryingly fast GT. Aston claims performance of 191mph and 0-62mph in just 4.3sec.That's pretty quick for a big rag-top!
It certainly is. The Ferrari California
is one front-engined, 2+2 convertible rival out there and the DBS is nearly as quick. The Aston uses carbonfibre and aluminium construction to keep weight down, although it tips in at 1810kg, heavier than the Cali.
A six-speed manual is fitted as standard to the DBS in a transaxle position to balance the mass better. We rather liked the six-speed Touchtronic auto option that's also available in the coupe. Whichever gearbox you spec, they drive the rear wheels through a limited slip diff.Tell me about the new Aston DBS Volante's roof
Well, it's fabric – obviously – retracting electrically in just 14 seconds at speeds of up to 30mph. Perfect for a summer downpour in Sandbanks. When stowed, the cloth roof nestles under a newly contoured tonneau with a double-bubble silhouette behind the rear-seat passengers (or, we should say, bags chucked on the 2+2 back seats).
It's only Aston's 16th convertible in 95 years and they've thrown the latest tech at the new DBS soft-top. Carbon ceramic brakes are standard fit (saving 13kg), while the Bang & Olufsen 13-speaker stereo has been tuned to compensate for any roof-down wind rustle. A neat touch.
Prices will be confirmed at the Volante's Geneva motor show
debut next week. But do some basic maths and we estimate it'll cost £168,000 when sales start in autumn 2009.>> Click here for more stars at the Geneva motor show 2009