V Is For Victory

BY Burnpavement

Aston Martin’s 100th anniversary celebrations continue with another V12 beauty


As predictable as the mad rush for Hello Kitty toys in McDonalds outlets all over Singapore, Aston Martin has released a drop-top version of its latest two-door model. Just like the DB9, Virage and DBS before it, the Vanquish has now also had its head lopped off to become the Vanquish Volante.

With this new car come a couple of milestones for the Aston brand. Not only is it the most powerful soft-top Aston ever to leave the gates at Gaydon, it is also the stiffest, thanks to its all-carbonfibre bodywork, another Aston first. Happily, the company has eschewed the current folding hardtop trend and gone for a traditional triple-skin fabric roof that takes just 14 seconds to fold. Roof up or down, the Volante has 279 litres of bootspace, 50% more than the outgoing DBS Volante.

As expected, most things are carried over from the Vanquish coupe. That means the same 5.9-litre V12 pushing its 565 bhp and 620 Nm to the rear wheels through Aston’s six-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic gearbox. Performance figures are claimed to be just as good as the coupe’s, with a 293 km/h top speed and 0-100 km/h time of 4.1 seconds.

The One-77-inspired interior is also shared with the coupe, with its oblong steering wheel and haptic glass buttons. Although officially a 2+2, like most of its ilk the Volante’s rear seats are probably more suited for cargo than people.

Underpinning the Volante is Aston’s 4th-generation VH bonded aluminium platform, now with carbonfibre used in several semi-structural components that help make the whole chassis 14% stiffer than the DBS Volante. Taking advantage of this rigidity are retuned suspension settings aided by a three-stage Adaptive Damping System, as well as Positive Torque Control and carbon-ceramic brakes by Brembo.

Deliveries start in Europe by the end of 2013, with no word yet on a release date here. Let’s just hope it doesn’t arrive right on time for next year’s haze season…