One of the sexiest convertibles we’ve seen in a long time.
After Aston Martin launched the acclaimed DB11 grand-tourer last year, it was only a matter of time before a convertible Volante variant arrived. Not that the British automaker has been keeping it a secret – Aston Martin showed off a prototype of the DB11 Volante over a year ago, with a launch date penned for spring 2018. Plenty of details were kept under wraps but now the elegant convertible has been revealed in full – and it doesn't disappoint, combining the alluring looks of its coupe sibling with a fabric soft top for open-air cruising.
Just as we hoped, the sleek styling makes the DB11 Volante one of the sexiest convertibles we've laid our eyes on in a long time. Its fabric roof, which is available in three colors including bordeaux red, black silver, and grey silver, takes just 14 seconds to lower and 16 seconds to close. The convertible roof also features acoustic and insulation materials and new eight-layer cossets to protect occupants from extreme weather and drown out wind noise. It can also be remotely operated from the key or at speeds up to 31 mph. If you're worried that the soft top roof won't be as strong as a metal one, Aston Martin went to extreme lengths to test the rigidity of the DB11 Volante's roof mechanism.
The convertible was subjected to more than 100,000 cycles of extreme weather simulating the world's harshest environments, compressing 10-years' worth of use into a one-month test. Unlike the coupe, which launched with a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12, the Aston Martin DB11 Volante is only available with the recently introduced 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 sourced by Mercedes-AMG. Fitting the DB11 Volante with the heavier V12 wouldn't have been practical, since converting the coupe into a droptop will have already added extra weight. Being based on the coupe's aluminum platform, the DB11 Volante is lighter and more rigid than the outgoing DB9 Volante, and also benefits from a 20 percent gain in trunk volume.
Like the coupe, the V8 unit sends 503 horsepower and 513 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic. This setup allows the convertible to sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds before topping out at 187 mph, making it only a tenth of a second slower off the line than the V8-powered coupe. Top speed is also identical for both models. "The challenge of creating a convertible car is retaining structural and dynamic integrity," Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer Max Szwaj explains. "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 26 kg lighter and 5 per cent stiffer than its predecessor. The result is a truly magnificent car. One that combines greater performance and agility with increased comfort, refinement and interior space for occupants and their luggage". Deliveries for the new Aston Martin DB11 Volante will begin in Q1 2018, with prices starting at $216,495 in the US. From what we can see, Aston Martin has another stunner in its growing line-up.