Like most of the car industry, we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the DB11 Volante. Joining the equally elegant DB11 Coupe, the Volante Aston Martin raises the bar in terms of performance, innovation, engineering and style to create the definitive open-top Sports GT.
Aston Martin’s new Convertible is powered by a new 4.0-litre twin-turbo 510PS V8 engine and is built around the all-new bonded aluminium structure which we first saw on the DB11 Coupe. However, it is lighter and sturdier than its predecessor; the DB11 Volante has been designed to deliver a much wider scope of of abilities. We can expect greater levels of performance and handling which accentuate the more sporting side of this new model’s character, while increased refinement, comfort and interior space means it is still an impressive grand tourer.
This cars wide ranging ability is all thanks to the Volante’s 3-stage powertrain and chassis modes. Working together with the 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, electric power steering and limited-slip differential with dynamic torque vectoring, the driver is able to configure the car’s responses and adapt its behaviour in a way that best responds to the road, weather conditions or their driving needs. Comfort features include a heated steering wheel, ideal if you want to drop the top during colder seasons, this alongside rear seat ISOFIX attachment points bring added versatility to this car in a new way.
Looks have not been overlooked (of course it is an Aston Martin!) and the DB11 Volante features the striking single-piece aluminium bonnet and inventive ‘Curlicue’ aerodynamic taken from the DB11 Coupe. This comes together with new wood or carbon fibre veneer panels on the seat backs, a beautifully tailored fabric hood, breath-taking ultra-slim ‘light blade’ tail lights that create a bold C graphic and a striking new design of forged alloy wheel. The result? Simply sensational, athletic and sleek that effortlessly expresses the DB11 Volante’s character.
But let’s not forget the characteristic feature of the DB11 Volante is its convertible roof. Bringing together the timeless appeal of a fabric hood with the very latest acoustic and insulation materials, the all-new 8-layer roof cossets occupants from the extremes of weather and wind noise. Folding away to a class-leading stack height, the Volante’s hood takes a mere 14 seconds to come down and 16 to close; it can be operated remotely by key, or on the move at speeds of up to 31mph with a 31mph headwind. The new hood system has also led to a 20 per cent gain in boot volume compared to the outgoing DB9 Volante. All round impressive.
Testing the car’s procedures is always of the highest importance for Aston Martin, and this all-new roof mechanism was treated to rigorous testing procedures pushing it to the limits. In the Life Cycle Durability (LCD) test, engineers subjected the roof to more than 100,000 cycles in special weather chambers designed to simulate the world’s harshest environments, compressing 10-years of use into a one month test. This was all then validated with real testing of prototypes in locations like the Arctic Circle and Death Valley.
Designed and built to be the most advanced and complete open-top Aston Martin ever built, styled to put competitors in the shade and refined to achieve a fine balance of ride, handling, responsiveness and refinement, the DB11 Volante is all set to deliver a new vision of driving pleasure.
Dr Andy Palmer, Chief Executive Officer and Aston Martin President, said about the DB11 Volante: “For many of our customers, indeed many generations of Aston Martin customer, the Volante has always offered something very special: a unique combination of elegant style, innate sporting ability and sensory engagement that lifts it above other open-top cars. The new DB11 Volante captures those qualities perfectly and promises the kind of pleasure and enjoyment that can only come from driving an open-top Aston Martin”.
Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer, Max Szwaj, added: “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 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”.