The new As­ton Martin...

Wheels - - Contents -

Steer­ing Wheel. Well, it’s what Volante also means in Ital­ian

No this is not déjà vu, this is a brand-new As­ton Martin

It must be

lovely be­ing Marek Re­ich­man. His first full As­ton Martin pro­ject as Gay­don’s head of de­sign was the four-door Rapide. He there­fore took a pic­ture of a DB9 and used Pho­to­shop’s ‘stretch’ func­tion. For the DBS he slapped a DBS badge on the back. For the Van­quish he or­dered even more new badges. And now he’s dis­cov­ered the ‘cut’ tool in Pho­to­shop, be­cause the lat­est As­ton Martin is a Van­quish drop-top. They pay him a lot to do this sort of thing. In all se­ri­ous­ness, As­ton Martins are gor­geous, hyp­not­i­cally good­look­ing cre­ations, but ev­ery so of­ten we’d like to see one that you can tell apart from an­other. Still, we cer­tainly would never say no to the new Van­quish Volante, es­pe­cially not with a 6.0-litre V12 engine pro­duc­ing 565 horse­power.

This is touted as the first As­ton Volante to fea­ture a full car­bon­fi­bre body, just like the Van­quish tin-top, and thanks to the low weight (who are we kid­ding, it’s ac­tu­ally about 1,800kg…) the soft-top car sprints from zero to 100kph in 4.1 sec­onds. Its mul­ti­layer light­weight fab­ric roof isn’t far be­hind, fold­ing down com­pletely, and elec­tri­cally, in 14 sec­onds dead.

14SEC No, not the Volante’s 0-100kph time, but rather the time it takes for the soft-top to fold fully

The ab­so­lute flag­ship of As­ton Martin’s cur­rent range— now that Dubai Po­lice is hog­ging the One-77 and you can’t buy one any

“De­liv­er­ies of the new As­ton Martin Van­quish Volante will be­gin late this year in Europe, with prices

start­ing fromDh1.1 mil­lion.”

more— be­longs in the ex­clu­sive su­per GT class oc­cu­pied by ri­vals such as the Fer­rari F12 Berlinetta, which can’t even drop its top yet, so Maranello will have to scurry off and ad­dress that em­bar­rass­ing prob­lem. And they’d bet­ter make sure it folds in 13 sec­onds…

Gay­don claims that de­spite the Van­quish los­ing its roof, the Volante it­er­a­tion re­tains all of the coupé’s dy­nam­ics and per­for­mance. The V12 engine is iden­ti­cal in both mod­els, for ex­am­ple, so ac­cel­er­a­tion times as well as the 295kph top speed re­main the same. That’s the sort of speed that’s reeled in ef­fort­lessly when you’ve got 565 horses at 6,750rpm and 620Nm of torque from 5,500rpm.

For its new­est Volante, As­ton Martin used a full-height wind­screen, which means the glass seam­lessly runs up to meet the fab­ric roof for a cleaner tran­si­tion, and in­side a smat­ter­ing of car­bon fi­bre meets plenty of full-grain Luxmil leather for a lux­u­ri­ous cabin.

Gay­don also claims a cargo com­part­ment that’s 50 per cent big­ger than in the pre­vi­ous DBS Volante, mea­sur­ing 279 litres for a proper GT con­ti­nent-crush­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Now you can bring more than just a change of socks with you when you travel. Near per­fect 51:49 front-to-rear weight dis­tri­bu­tion, a sporty tuned six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and a 14 per cent in­crease in tor­sional stiff­ness over its pre­de­ces­sor should en­sure sprightly per­for­mance off the high­way as well. Add to that the new Dy­namic Sta­bil­ity Con­trol and Pos­i­tive Torque Con­trol sys­tems, plus As­ton Martin’s Adap­tive Damp­ing Sys­tem, which lets you switch be­tween three damp­ing modes: Nor­mal, Sport and Track, de­liv­er­ing in­stant ad­just­ment of the car’s ride and han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics.

As for the steer­ing, it’s a quick­ish 15:1 ra­tio, or 2.6 turns lockto-lock, while the brakes come from Brembo’s car­bon ce­ramic cat­a­logue mea­sur­ing 398mm up front and 360mm at the back. De­liv­er­ies of the new Van­quish Volante will be­gin late this year in Europe, with prices start­ing from Dh1.1 mil­lion.

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