by Karl Furlong
To mark the end of production of the current DBS grand tourer, Aston Martin has unveiled the most powerful iteration yet. This particular version, the drop-top DBS 770 Ultimate Volante, will be even rarer than its coupe sibling (pictured here) as only 199 examples will be produced. All of those have already been sold, so only a lucky few will be able to enjoy the amplified acoustics of the 759-horsepower (770 metric hp) V12 with the roof down. This machine may be appreciated most for its sensational design, but Aston has spent plenty of time on the suspension, steering, and other components to ensure it's as riveting to drive as it is to stare at. Even with polished rivals like the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible, this Aston stands out as a truly special drop-top.
The release date for the Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate Volante is set for later this year; deliveries will begin in the third quarter of 2023. As mentioned, only 199 examples will be coming out, compared to 300 coupes. We review the fixed-roof Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate separately.
We estimated that the price for the coupe would be in the region of $400,000, and the drop-top is likely to be even pricier. Based on the difference in cost between other Aston coupes and convertibles, the price of the 2024 Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate Volante will likely start at about $420,000. That MSRP could fluctuate wildly based on the selected options, and there are many of those to choose from.
Rivals in the USA will include the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible, a heavier and even more luxurious exotic with a twin-turbo W12. For similar money, there is the Ferrari 812 GTS or the pricier and insanely powerful 812 Competizione A with 819 hp. The Italian marque's Portofino M is a lot cheaper, but it doesn't have a V12.
Based on what we know about the regular DBS, the new Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate Volante convertible will strike a decent balance between the comfort and luxury of the Bentley, and the razor-sharp responses of the Ferraris.
At the time of writing, Aston Martin had only revealed images of the DBS 770 Ultimate coupe, not the convertible, so we reference pictures of the former in this first look. The two are expected to share most of their styling details, though, with the main difference for the exterior of the Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate Volante being its roof. This should be a multi-layered cloth roof as found on the regular DBS Volante.
The 770 Ultimate exudes prestige and aggression from just about every angle, although the front fascia with its large grille isn't quite as graceful as the rear view. For this special DBS, the clamshell hood comes with a distinctive 'horse-shoe' engine vent, and there is a new front splitter with outboard vents. Not only do these elements give the DBS 770 Ultimate a unique appearance, but they also enhance engine cooling.
The mirror caps, windscreen surround, side sills, and fender louvers are all finished in exposed carbon fiber twill, a suitably exotic material for the ultimate DBS Volante yet. The power cloth roof should be available in multiple shades, and if the regular DBS Volante is anything to go by, it will take around 16 seconds to open and 14 seconds to close.
From the side and with the roof down, the DBS 770 Ultimate Volante should be a stunner, and from here, you'll also be able to see one of three finishes for the 21-inch wheels. Those are Satin Silver, Satin Black, or a Diamond Turned finish. Pirelli P Zero high-performance tires will be equipped as standard.
The Volante is likely to share the coupe's rounded quartet of tailpipes and diffuser arrangement at the back. Likewise, the colors that are available for the Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate Volante should mirror those of the coupe. There are too many colors to list in detail here, but some of the subtler ones are China Grey, Magnetic Silver, and Zenith White. A more charismatic look can be achieved by applying one of the many brighter shades, those including Elwood Blue, Kermit Green, Scorpus Red, and Ultra Yellow. Different brake caliper colors, several liveries, and unique exhaust finishers will be available.
Specific dimensions for the Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate haven't been published, but its length and width are likely to match the coupe's 185.6 and 84.4 inches, respectively. Likewise, the same 110.4-inch wheelbase is likely to apply. What may differ is the height with the different roof since the regular DBS Volante is almost 0.6 inches taller than the DBS Coupe. With that in mind, the DBS 770 Ultimate Volante is probably just over 51 inches tall.
Whereas the coupe comes in at 4,067 pounds, the convertible will probably exceed 4,100 lbs.
The magnificent 5.2-liter V12 engine has been massaged to produce even more power in this form by virtue of modified air and ignition pathways, along with a 7% increase in maximum turbo boost pressure. It now makes 759 hp (715 hp in the normal DBS) and 663 lb-ft of torque, and Aston quotes a single 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds. Whether that applies to both the coupe and the convertible isn't obvious, but if the Volante is a bit slower, it won't be by much at all. A top speed of 211 mph is on the cards for this rear-wheel-drive GT.
Faster shift speeds and a different transmission calibration form part of the changes for the ZF eight-speed automatic, and together with the more powerful V12, this should be a joyous car to pilot.
Aston Martin didn't stop at the DBS 770 Ultimate Volante's engine and transmission, though, as the steering and suspension have also been upgraded. A clearer sense of what the front wheels are doing comes via a new solid steering column, and front-end lateral stiffness has increased by 25%. The latter improvement is thanks to a new front cross member and thicker undertray at the back.
Changes were also made to the adaptive damping system, with a unique software turn and damper calibration. The benefits of that are greater control and composure. With 759 hp, it also helps to have powerful brakes, and the ventilated carbon ceramic discs measuring 16.1/14.2 inches front/rear should be up to the task.
Without official EPA figures for the DBS 770 Ultimate Volante, we can't say with certainty what its gas mileage will be. However, we do know that the less powerful DBS returns 14/22/17 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles, so that gives us an idea of what to expect.
The 20.6-gallon gas tank will translate to a range of around 350 miles in this case.
The interior of the Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate Volante seems to follow the usual exotic-car formula, so expect many expensive materials, some wild color choices, and great seats, but infotainment tech that is bested by cars costing a fraction of the price.
We'll get the negatives out of the way first, then. Despite its high price, the Volante sticks with the old-school eight-inch infotainment screen inside that's based on the Mercedes COMAND interface. Mercedes itself started phasing out this system years ago, and the lack of connectivity features like Android Auto will be difficult to stomach in 2023. Finally, the second-row seats should be treated as extra packing space, as they're simply too small for adults.
Fortunately, there is still a lot to appreciate about the smartly-trimmed cabin, and that starts with the seats in the Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate Volante. These Sports Plus seats are trimmed in a mix of semi-aniline leather and Alcantara, while the 'fluted' quilt and perforation pattern are visually appealing. Elsewhere, there is a bespoke trim split with contrast colors linked to welt and stitching, but many of these elements can be changed via the configurator. Carbon fiber paddles, a tailor-made strap and buckle badge on the center console, and a smattering of DBS 770 Ultimate logos are all standard.
Using the configurator for the coupe (the Volante wasn't available to customize online), we could choose from an array of primary colors like Phantom Grey, Spicy Red, Aurora Blue, Copper Tan Metallic, and Californian Poppy. Specific colors are also available for the headlining, contrast stitching, and carpets, and there appear to be no limitations so you can easily end up with some bizarre combinations if you aren't careful.
Trim inlay options include sporty carbon fiber, fingerprint-attracting Piano Black, Dyed Tamo Ash open pore, and Satin Chopped carbon fiber. A carbon fiber steering wheel is available via the Q by Aston Marin customization program.
Included in the standard specification are heated and power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, front/rear parking sensors, keyless entry, a 360-degree camera system, blind-spot detection, and integrated satellite navigation. That's good to know since many mid-engined supercars of similar stature have no driver-assistance technologies at all, making the 770 Ultimate a safer choice if you'll be spending most of your time on normal roads instead of the track.
The cargo space in a drop-top like the Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate Volante was never going to be great, and judging by the standard DBS' specs of seven cubic feet, you'll need to pack carefully for longer trips. In-cabin storage has never been a strong point for the DBS either, but this won't be a huge concern for the typical buyer who probably has a DBX in the garage as well.
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