Aston Martin Launches DB11 Volante Convertible

Aston Martin DB11 Volante

The eagerly anticipated Aston Martin DB11 Volante is now upon us, and it is set to make a strong case for the 'ultimate driving machine.' The British brand's new drop-top model joins last year's DB11 Coupe, easily becoming two of the most visually stunning offerings from the carmaker to date.

Volante is the Italian word for 'flying,' and is Aston Martin's label for its convertible models. The DB11 Volante shares its underpinnings with its coupe sibling--a bonded aluminum structure that immediately makes both cars lighter and more stable than their predecessors.

It comes powered by a single engine type, a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that generates 503 hp and 675 Nm of torque. The Volante will not come equipped with a V12 like the coupe, because according to the British make, the hefty engine significantly adds to the convertible's already heavy body style. The V8's power is delivered to the rear axle via an eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission system.

Performance is enhanced by the vehicle's three-stage powertrain and chassis modes, electric power steering, and limited slip differential with dynamic torque vectoring. All these help the Volante accelerate to 100 kph in a short 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 300 kph. Comparatively, that's not far off from the V12 DB11 Coupe's 3.9-second 0-100 time and 322 kph top speed.

As for the top itself, Aston Martin chose to go old-school this time around, opting for a traditional fabric roof instead of the clever folding metal arrangement that the brand's recent convertibles have sported. According to Aston Martin, the fabric soft top allowed the height of the rear deck to be low and preserved the DB11's sleek lines better. The top can be controlled with the key fob packaged with the DB11. It will continue to be operational up to speeds of 50 kph.

Aston Martin DB11 Volante

To ensure the fabric roof's lengthy lifespan, Aston conducted over 100,000 cycles in weather chambers to simulate 10 years of use in the space of one month. Aston Martin then validated the results of the simulated tests by conducting real-world tests in the Death Valley and the Arctic Circle.

Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Andy Palmer, said of the DB11 Volante: "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."

Max Szwaj, Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer, adds: "The challenge of creating a convertible car is retaining structural and dynamic integrity. To protect the former, you need strength and rigidity, but to preserve the latter you need to keep weight to a minimum. With the DB11 Volante we have maximized the advantages of the DB11's all-new bonded structure to underpin our new Volante with a structure that's 26 kg lighter and five percent stiffer than its predecessor. The result is a truly magnificent car. One that combines greater performance and agility with increased comfort, refinement and interior space for occupants and their luggage."

Aston Martin DB11 Volante

The Aston Martin DB11 Volante starts at $216,495 (over P11 million) with deliveries expected to begin in the first quarter of 2018.

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