Aston Martin DB11 sheds roof, earns Volante name

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Aston Martin DB11 sheds roof, earns Volante name

“VOLANTE,” in Aston Martin-speak, is reserved for the brand’s topless models — a practice that can be traced back to 1965. On Oct. 13, the British car maker released the convertible version of its DB11 Coupe, earning the model the historic Volante tag.

In a news release Aston Martin said the DB11 Volante “sets new standards of performance, innovation, engineering and style,” and so the car has become the “definitive open-top sports GT.”

To back up this claim, the company fitted the DB11 with its 4.0-liter V8 engine that, through the help of two turbochargers, spins out 503hp and an earth-pulling 674Nm of torque, with the grunt available from as low as 2,000rpm and tapers off at 5,000rpm. Even if, according to Aston Martin, there are no plans to shoehorn the DB11’s V12 in the Volante, the power output is ample.

Matched to the V8 is a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission (the same one on the Coupe), which sends power to the limited-slip differential in the rear axle. Three drive modes that alter engine and chassis settings dictate the behavior of the car. But regardless of the chosen mode, dynamic torque vectoring ensures the DB11 stays on its driver’s intended path.

The bonded aluminum structure in the Coupe also underpins the DB11 Volante. Aston Martin said this light yet rigid structure allows for “greater levels of performance and handling” without compromising “refinement, comfort and interior space.”

Aston Martin DB11 sheds roof, earns Volante name
DB11 Volante gets special cabin pieces.

Both the coupe and topless DB11s are as visually striking, with the Volante getting the single-piece aluminum hood and signature “curlicue” aerodynamic feature of its sibling. The Volante adds new wood or carbon fiber veneer panels on its seat backs, a tailored fabric roof — available in a choice of Bordeaux red, black silver or gray silver — slim “light blade” tail lights and its own forged alloy wheels.

Aston Martin said the DB11 Volante’s eight-layer roof is made with the “very latest acoustic and insulation materials,” and needs only 16 seconds to stash in the trunk. It can be operated remotely from the key, or on the move at speeds of up to 50 kph.

“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,” said Andy Palmer, president and CEO of Aston Martin.

The DB11 Volante will first be sold in the UK, Germany and US, with deliveries to start in the first quarter of 2018. The car is expected in the Philippines in the last quarter of next year.