Aston Martin, the luxury car manufacturer from Britain is not the favourite James Bond for no reason. The latest car to feature in a James Bond movie is the Aston Martin DB11, which was only a pre-production unit then, but now, graces our roads as one of the best looking cars in the world. But how do you take it to the next level? How do you make a good looking car even more better?
Well, Aston Martin has just revealed the eagerly-awaited DB11 Volante, an open top version of the DB11 Coupe, and looks absolutely menacing. The new DB11 Volante Convertible is aimed to set new standards of performance, innovation, engineering and style. The DB11 Volante has been engineered to deliver a much broader envelope of abilities.
"For many of our customers, indeed many generations of Aston Martin customer, the Volante has always offered something very special: a unique combination of elegant style, innate sporting ability and sensory engagement that lifts it above other open-top cars. The new DB11 Volante captures those qualities perfectly and promises the kind of pleasure and enjoyment that can only come from driving an open-top Aston Martin," Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer.
The new Aston Martin DB 11 Volante is powered by a new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that delivers 510PS output and is built around the all-new bonded aluminium structure which was first seen in the DB11 Coupe. The engine is mated to 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission and there’s also the Volante’s 3-stage powertrain and chassis modes to get the maximum out of the car.
An electric power steering and limited-slip differential with dynamic torque vectoring, along with the transmission helps the driver to configure the car’s responses in a way that best suits the road, weather conditions or their mood. Other features include the heated steering wheel and rear seat ISOFIX attachment points – a first for a Volante model.
The biggest asset of the DB11 Volante is how appealing it visually is, thanks to the single-piece aluminum bonnet and ‘Curlicue’ aerodynamic borrowed from the DB11 Coupe, dramatic ultra-slim ‘light blade’ tail lights that create a bold C graphic and a striking new design of forged alloy wheel. Inside is the new wood or carbon fibre veneer panels on the seat backs, and a tailored fabric hood – available in a choice of bordeaux red, black silver or grey silver.
Obviously, the defining feature of the DB11 Volante is its convertible roof, which is an all-new 8-layer roof and saves occupants from the extremes of weather and wind noise. The Volante’s hood takes just 14 seconds to lower and 16 to close and can be operated remotely from the key, or on the move at speeds up to 50 kmph. Adding the hood system means a 20 per cent gain in boot volume compared to the outgoing DB9 Volante.
The roof was subjected to more than 100,000 cycles during the Life Cycle Durability (LCD) test, in special weather chambers designed to simulate conditions in the world’s harshest environments, compressing 10-years of use into a one month test. There was also real life testing in extreme temperature areas like the Death Valley and the Arctic Circle.
The Volante’s kerb weight is 110kg more than its coupe sibling and stands at 1,870kg, though the DB11 drop-top model is about 26kg lighter and 5 percent stiffer than its predecessor, the DB9 Volante V12.
The new DB11 Volante will retail for £159,900 in the UK, €199,000 in Germany and $216,495 in USA, and the first deliveries of the DB11 Volante are scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2018. Whether or not it will be launched in India is not yet clear, but if it does, it will exceed the ex-showroom price of the DB11 coupe with the V12 motor at Rs 4.27 crore.