BULLETIN: NEWS & EVENTS
Gorgeous new DB11 Volante revealed, plus track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro
FOLLOWING CLOSE ON THE HEELS of the V8-engined DB11 coupé, Aston Martin was quick to release full details and images of the new DB11 Volante, having shown teaser images of a lightly disguised car earlier in the year.
Open-top DB Astons follow an elegant recipe with enduring appeal, and the new soft-top DB11 is no exception. It’s a truly stunning looking car, roof up or down, and will undoubtedly sell like hot cakes, especially in the US, traditionally Aston’s strongest market for convertibles.
The DB11 coupé’s design relies heavily on the sweeping roofline, so the Volante could have lost some of that visual flow and balance, yet to our eye the shape works beautifully, even with the roof raised (see over the page).
Speaking of the roof, it’s an all-new design. One that has the classic visual and tactile appeal of a fabric hood, yet incorporates the very latest acoustic and insulation materials (eight layers in total) for perfect year-round, all-weather performance. The ultra-clean roof-down lines are thanks to the slimline roof mechanism, which folds down to a class-leading stack height. It’s also quick, taking just 14 seconds to lower and 16 to close. It can be operated remotely from the key, or should you wish to be ‘that’ person, raised or lowered on the move at speeds of up to 31mph with a 31mph headwind. This new hood system has also led to a very useful 20 per cent gain in boot volume compared with the outgoing DB9 Volante.
In line with Aston Martin’s exhaustive testing procedures, the roof system was put through a punishing series of tests. In the Life Cycle Durability (LCD) test – which is said to compress ten years of use into a month – engineers subjected the roof to more than 100,000 cycles in
special weather chambers designed to simulate conditions in the world’s harshest environments. The results of the LCD test were then validated with field testing of DB11 Volante development prototypes in wildly contrasting locations including Death Valley and the Arctic Circle.
One surprise is that the Volante is being launched with the Mercedes Amg-sourced 4-litre V8 engine and not the in-house 5.2-litre V12. Not that the car wants for performance as a result with a (roof up) top speed of 187mph, which is the same as for the V8 coupé, and a 0-62mph time of 4.1sec, just a tenth shy of the coupé. The slight deficit is down to a weight penalty of 115kg associated with additional strengthening to the bonded aluminium chassis structure, though it should be said this is still 26kg lighter and 5 per cent more rigid than the DB9 Volante’s.
Chassis-wise, the Volante’s suspension has been re-tuned, but retains the DB11 coupé’s three-stage powertrain and chassis modes, which offer fully integrated control of the eight-speed paddleshift automatic transmission, electric power steering and limited-slip differential with dynamic torquevectoring. With a choice of Comfort, Normal and Sport modes, you can configure the car’s responses and tailor its behaviour in a way that best suits the road, weather conditions and your mood.
Unsurprisingly, the Volante has a generous level of standard equipment, including a leather interior with Alcantara headlining and new leather door and centre console inserts. Heated seats, front and rear parking sensors as well as 360-degree surround-view parking cameras are also fitted.
As is the way with today’s Aston Martins, there’s almost limitless scope for personalisation and options. These include no fewer than seven different variants of the 20in alloy wheels and four possible colours for the brake calipers. Given the exposed nature of the interior, there are also some very special options for trim, including wood panels for the backs of the front seats. Sounds slightly strange, but looks fabulous.
How much? In the UK, the DB11 Volante costs from £159,900. That’s a £15,000 premium over the DB11 V8 coupé, and £2000 more than the V12 coupé. The order books are already open, with first customers due to take delivery of their cars in the first quarter of 2018. Just in time for the spring sunshine…
If you’re one of those first DB11 Volante customers, oh, how we envy you.
‘Special options for trim include wood panels for the backs of the front seats. Sounds slightly strange, but looks fabulous’