New models are coming thick and fast in Aston Martin's centenary year: here’s the drop-top Aston Martin Vanquish Volante. The soft-top flagship is the first convertible Aston with a carbon body, making the stiffest and most powerful drop-top it has ever built. Its 565bhp drivetrain has been taken straight from the Aston Martin Vanquish coupe – the most powerful Aston to date – but the Volante adds 105kg and an extra £6000 for a starting price of £199,995.
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How fast is it?
The Vanquish’s 5.9-litre V12 sends 565bhp and 457lb ft through the six-speed paddleshift gearbox to the rear wheels, and Aston Martin says the Volante is just as quick as the fixed-head version, with the same 4.1sec 0-62mph time. This means it’s 0.2sec quicker than the DBS Volante it replaces, but the Vanquish Volante's 183mph top speed can't topple the DBS Volante's 191mph, which remains the fastest Aston convertible ever.
It’ll corner better though, right?
Yes: take those 20-inch alloy wheels, which are wrapped in Pirelli rubber and house carbon-ceramic stoppers, as well as a 13 per cent stiffer body, and the Vanquish Volante promises to handle better than its predecessor. There’s also the three-stage adaptive damping system and Aston’s Positive Torque Control (PTC) for maximum roadholding and point-to-point agility. This is one convertible that can back up what its good looks suggest.
How does the Volante’s roof stack up?
It’s a triple-layer soft-top job, which folds away in 14sec while driving at speeds of up to 30mph – handy for the UK’s sudden downpours. Roof up or down, you get 279 litres of boot space, which is more than twice as much as the DBS Volante's load area, and yes, the useless rear seats are carried over – they’re little more than extra luggage room.
What about inside?
The cabin is carried over from the hardtop, with its slimline centre console, touch-sensing haptic buttons and the squared-off steering wheel. As shown by the searing blue Volante in our gallery, new colour choices are available for the interior to compliment the Alcantara, leather and chrome that just might – might – have a chance of glistening if the sun comes out this summer.