New DB11 Volante launched

When was the last time that a coupe sports car wasn't later offered as a convertible? Not that we're complaining of course, but when even cars like the McLaren 675LT have gone topless, today's news was always to be expected. That, plus Aston already 'leaked' a whole host of 'spyshots'...

This is the new DB11 Volante then which, according to Aston Martin, "sets new standards of performance, innovation, engineering and style to create the definitive open-top Sports GT." A bold claim, but certainly one that the DB11 is capable of fulfilling.

The dream, being lived.
The dream, being lived.
See, we rather enjoyed the V8 coupe when we drove it recently and the Volante will be powered by the same 510hp, twin-turbo AMG V8 which Dan described as, "no second best [to the V12] in terms of on-road performance." It also features the same eight-speed ZF auto and limited-slip differential seen in the coupe, and is built around the same bonded aluminium structure too, so the signs are good.

When compared to its predecessor things look even better. It's 26kg lighter and five per cent stiffer than DB9 Volante it replaces, so the extra 60hp it also boasts should feel to be an even greater gain. Whether that's enough of a rigidity improvement, of course, remains to be seen...

All of that matters not though because there is, of course, one defining characteristic which sets the Volante apart from the coupe - its roof. And the launch of any new convertible grand tourer would not be complete without many lines of the press release being devoted to its top, the mechanical marvel that it is, and just how quickly it can be made to go away.

In the case of the DB11, the all-new eight-layer fabric hood takes just 14 seconds to lower to a "class-leading stack height". It takes two seconds longer to raise again, but can do so at speeds of up to 31mph. In developing it, Aston engineers subjected it to more than 100,000 cycles in special weather chambers apparently designed to simulate the world's harshest environments, before taking prototypes to locations such as Death Valley and the Arctic Circle to validate their findings. So it'll work, basically.

Colours other than beige available. Hopefully
Colours other than beige available. Hopefully
This may seem like frivolous excess - after all, the manual roof on our Abarth 124 works a treat - but the key takeaway is that the new design has also allowed for a 20 per cent gain in boot volume compared to the DB9 Volante, which is certainly useful.

Inside you'll find creature comforts like a heated steering wheel to "encourage all-season open-air motoring" and, in a first for an Aston Volante model, rear seat ISOFIX attachment points too. Uniquely to the Volante, the seatbacks can be clad in a choice of wood veneer or carbon fibre and there's also a set of rather snazzy new forged alloy wheels available.

The DB11 Volante is available to order now, with pricing in the UK starting from £159,900 and first deliveries scheduled for Q1 of 2018. We'll look forward to getting behind the wheel, and out from under that roof, as soon as we can.







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Comments (74) Join the discussion on the forum

  • E65Ross 14 Oct 2017

    Looks pretty nice, although I'm still yet to be sold on the rear end.

    Nice to see press-shots of the interior in a colour combination I like!

  • rare6499 14 Oct 2017

    Very nice - does away with the feature I liked least as well, the roof ‘bars’ painted in other colours. One of the few convertibles I prefer to it’s equivalent coupe. Nice job!!

  • DoctorX 14 Oct 2017

    That looks much better than the hardtop to my eyes. Shame about the hideous interior.

  • PhantomPH 14 Oct 2017

    The design suddenly makes more sense - a lot better looking and more cohesive with the roof down. I notice there are no 'roof up' shots above perhaps the roof up looks like a dog's dinner! smile

  • varsas 14 Oct 2017

    rare6499 said:
    Very nice - does away with the feature I liked least as well, the roof ‘bars’ painted in other colours. One of the few convertibles I prefer to it’s equivalent coupe. Nice job!!
    You can have the bars body colour...but it seems to leave a line, almost as if the roof is a hard top. Very odd...I suppose you could get the whole car in black to hide it...

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