As with the majority of recent DB models, Aston Martin has paired the hard-top coupe with a convertible twin, and here is the latest addition to that – the DB11 Volante.
Based on the DB11 coupe, the Volante comes with the latest engine fitted to the stable – a Mercedes-AMG-built turbocharged V8 that is lighter than the heavyweight V12 found in the coupe.
As you would expect, the Volante comes with all the stunning looks you expect from an Aston, and you could arguably say that the convertible is even better looking than the standard model.
But can the soft-top live up to the levels of the glamorous coupe? We find out…
Unlike the coupe which is available with both the V12 and V8, the Volante only comes with the twin-turbocharged AMG-sourced 4.0-litre V8 – which in this instance produces 503bhp and 675Nm of torque. Like in the AMG models it is fitted to, it helps you glide along really well thanks to the low-down torque, which helps get you up to speed in no time at all.
The sprint to 60mph is handled in 3.9 seconds and the Volante maxes out at 187mph – the same as the V8 coupe. It offers a lovely noise and only adds to the theatre of a convertible Aston.
Ride & Handling
The usual problem with convertible remodels of coupes is that they feel wobbly and unsettled when the roof is taken off due to the lack of a connecting piece of metal between the front and back-end. But Aston Martin has solved the issue well with extra strengthening and have made this feel as good to drive as the coupe – meaning you can enjoy the drive and take in the surroundings with the roof down.
To help create a supple and well-balanced ride, Aston has fitted adaptive dampers that come with three driving modes so that you can set the car up as and how you like. When tested on the smooth roads in the south of France, the Volante felt really smooth but the adaptive dampers will do the job on the rougher, less well-maintained roads of the UK. Pair that chassis setup with quick steering and the forceful V8, and you get an excellent cruiser that can manage most corners with ease.
Interior & Equipment
Due to the recent partnership with Mercedes, many of the interior design elements of the DB11 line-up are shared with the German brand’s vehicles. That includes the trackpad-controlled infotainment system, gloss-plastic surfaces and the buttons.
But the standard specification is rather excellent – as you expect from a car costing over £150,000. With the base model, you get leather trim on the upper dashboard and seats, Alcantara roof-lining, heated front seats, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, electrically adjustable memory seats and two seats in the back – although you definitely wouldn’t want to sit back there for too long if you’re an adult.
Other great features are the electronic instrument cluster with mode-specific graphics, a heated steering wheel – which was very useful when we were testing it in cold weather – and automatic dual-zone climate control.
Exterior features include 20-inch alloy wheels, LED lights front and rear, a deployable spoiler, polished metals for the grille and bonnet mesh, and enamel ‘wing’ badges. The redesigned eight-layer fabric folding roof can be raised in 16 seconds and lowered in 14 seconds – at speeds up to 31mph.
Prices for the DB11 Volante start from £159,000 – which isn’t exactly what you’d call cheap – but that doesn’t matter when you’re driving a drop-top Aston with a well-tuned V8 engine. Running costs are extensive, with the quoted 28.4mpg and 255g/km CO2 not what you’d call efficient, with road tax in the top bracket too.
Compared to rivals though it is in the right ball park, as the Audi R8 V10 Plus Spyder, Ferrari’s new Portofino and Maserati Gransport Cabrio all come close in terms of sale price and running costs.
In many aspects, the Volante is a better car than the standard DB11 and also makes more sense. By combining the seriously good-looking exterior, focused drive and comfortable ride, the Volante adds that drop-top experience that many look for in a long-range cruiser. As GT cars go, it is up there with the best.
The dash is a little complex and the running costs can be high, but those can be overlooked when you consider the overall feeling of the DB11 Volante. This version of the DB11 is arguably the best of the two.