AS­TON MARTIN VAN­QUISH S VOLANTE

Van­quish S Volante

The Herald Magazine - - NEWS - SI­MON DAVIS

ALTHOUGH it was only re­cently brought to mar­ket, the Van­quish S Volante still shares a lot of its makeup with the orig­i­nal sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Van­quish Volante, launched in 2013. Key changes for the Van­quish S are more power from its mighty 6.0-litre V12 – up 27bhp to 592bhp, to be pre­cise – as well as a new car­bon-fi­bre front split­ter and dif­fuser. There’s a restyled quad-ex­haust sys­tem, too. Be­neath the skin, en­gi­neers have fet­tled the sus­pen­sion, to im­prove the su­per-GT’s poise through the corners.

This is the As­ton’s party piece, and ar­guably the pri­mary rea­son why you’d want to go out and spend £211,950 to get your hands on a Van­quish S Volante. The 6.0-litre nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V12 de­vel­ops a con­sid­er­able 592bhp, with peak torque stand­ing at 630Nm. The bench­mark dash from 0-60mph takes 3.5 sec­onds, and the As­ton will carry on to a 197mph top speed.

Now, fuel econ­omy from a car with a whop­ping great V12 is never go­ing to be amaz­ing, but com­pared with ri­vals such as the Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT con­vert­ible and Fer­rari Cal­i­for­nia T, the As­ton’s claimed 21.6mpg is roughly par for the course.

There’s no ques­tion there’s a cer­tain sense of oc­ca­sion that comes from get­ting be­hind the wheel. Slide down into the cos­set­ing leather seat, pop the overly-de­signed glass key into the ig­ni­tion, and the V12 en­gine barks into life.

While the fold­ing fab­ric roof does al­low you to take in more of that en­gine’s in­tox­i­cat­ing sound­track, the ab­sence of a proper metal roof does mean that the Van­quish S Volante will never be quite as com­pet­i­tive as its coupe sta­ble­mate down a wind­ing coun­try road.

How­ever, that’s not the end of the world. Even though the Volante may be more than 100kg heav­ier than its range-mate, it’s still of­fers keener driv­ers an ex­hil­a­rat­ing drive thanks to its won­der­fully bal­anced chas­sis, com­pli­ant dampers and well-weighted steer­ing.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more at­trac­tive con­vert­ible than the Van­quish S Volante – no small feat con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent crop of drop-top su­per­cars.

The long, elegant bon­net flows down to an ag­gres­sive front end, which is ac­cen­tu­ated by a racy new car­bon-fi­bre split­ter. At the back, a sim­i­larly sporty look­ing car­bon-fi­bre dif­fuser has been added, while a new quad ex­haust de­sign hints at the Van­quish S’s in­creased per­for­mance.

When pay­ing north of £200,000 for the priv­i­lege of own­ing a Van­quish S Volante, As­ton Martin will throw in leather up­hol­stery, 20-inch al­loy wheels, plenty of car­bon fi­bre and a pre­mium Bang & Olufsen 13-speaker sound sys­tem.

The Van­quish S Volante has those dropdead gor­geous looks, is com­fort­able at low speed, highly en­ter­tain­ing on a chal­leng­ing road and is likely to be one of the last As­ton Martins to be pow­ered by a nat­u­rallyaspi­rated V12 en­gine. And that’s a good enough rea­son to buy one right there.

The Van­quish S Volante is likely top be the last As­ton Martin that boasts a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V12

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