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August 05, 2013

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante joins the drop-top party

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante joins the drop-top party

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 good-looking 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 carbon-fibre 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 multi-layer lightweight fabric roof isn’t far behind, folding down completely, and electrically, in 14 seconds dead.

Vanquish rival Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster vs Bentley GTC speed

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 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 quick-ish 15:1 ratio, or 2.6 turns lock-to-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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