► Drop-top DB11 revealed
► Folding soft-top roof
► On sale in spring 2018
Drink it in. Here’s one of the most glamorous new cars of 2018: the convertible Aston Martin DB11 Volante.
The drop-top version of the DB11 goes on sale in spring 2018, with orders being taken now.
It joins the fixed-head coupe DB11, originally launched in summer 2016, and gives Aston a rival to the likes of the Ferrari Portofino, Bentley Continental GTC and Mercedes-AMG SL65.
It’s got a V8, mate – but no V12
While the DB11 coupe gets a choice of turbocharged V12 or V8 powerplants, the Volante is available only with the V8. That’s purely for weight reasons – the extra heft required to convert [sic] the DB11 from roofed to de-roofed means that to retain the same handling balance, the heavier V12 has been ruled out.
Said V8 is the 4.0-litre twin-turbo supplied by Aston Martin’s partners AMG, and further modified at Gaydon to suit the DB11. With 503bhp and 512lb ft on tap, it’s not exactly lacking in the performance department.
It’s partnered with an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddles for manual mode, driving the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential with torque vectoring.
How fast is the Aston Martin DB11 Volante?
It’s not slow – 4.1sec to 62mph, and 187mph flat out. Not bad for a car with a kerb weight of around 1870kg.
And how much is the Aston Martin DB11 Volante?
From £159,900 in the UK, €199,000 in Germany and $216,495 in the USA.
Tell me more about the roof…
It’s a powered soft-top hood rather than a folding metal hardtop, available in a choice of colours: red, black silver or grey silver. The hood has no less than eight layers for the best possible sound insulation.
It takes 16 seconds to lower and close, and can do so while the car’s travelling at up to 31mph. It can also be operated remotely from the key, for maximum pose factor.
Like its DB9 predecessor and the DB11 coupe, the Volante is built around an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis. While still a heavy beast, overall the DB11 Volante is lighter and more rigid than the old DB9 Volante, giving it better handling, Aston promises. And the boot is 20% bigger, owing to a smaller stack height for the soft top.
Aston’s chief technical officer Max Szwaj says: ‘The challenge of creating a convertible car is retaining structural and dynamic integrity. To protect the former you need strength and rigidity, but to preserve the latter you need to keep weight to a minimum. With the DB11 Volante we have maximised the advantages of the DB11’s all-new bonded structure to underpin our new Volante with a structure that’s 26kg lighter and 5% stiffer than its predecessor.’
More personalisation options than you can shake a wood veneer or carbonfibre stick at, a heated steering wheel to keep your fingers toasty for roof-down winter drives, and a pair of teeny +2 seats in the back, as per the coupe.
And for the first time in an Aston Martin Volante model, the +2 rear seats feature Isofix anchor points, so you can take the kids along for the ride too.
Read CAR magazine’s Aston Martin DB11 coupe review