Aston Martin has unveiled the Vanquish Volante. Alongside its coupe sibling, launched last autumn, the Vanquish Volante sits at the top of the British car maker’s sports car line-up.
The convertible retains the coupe’s technical capabilities. It features the same new AM11 6.0-litre V12 engine as the coupe and the same performance figures, meaning the 0-62 mph sprint is achieved in an estimated 4.1 seconds while the top speed stands at 183 mph.
Vanquish Volante is also the first fully carbon-fibre-skinned Volante in the brand’s 100-year history, while also being the stiffest Volante body structure yet created by the engineering team at Aston Martin’s global HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. The new car’s triple-skin fabric roof takes 14 seconds to fold.
Announcing the arrival of the Vanquish Volante Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez said: “This car is what luxury super GT driving is all about. Great performance, fantastic style and exhilarating Volante motoring in one superb package.
“Aston Martin is celebrating 100 years of excellence in 2013, and the arrival of this new sports car – our ultimate Volante – underlines that our mission to make the next 100 years even more successful is starting perfectly.”
The Volante’s design represents the latest take on Aston Martin’s traditional visual language. Styling cues such as the waist, elongated side strakes and LED rear light blades are derived from the One-77 supercar while the folding fabric roof sits beneath a tonneau and decklid that have been aerodynamically adapted.
The windscreen, meanwhile, is now full height – a first for Aston Martin – which means that the glass runs up to meet the fabric roof, thereby achieving a somewhat more cleaner transition.
Each body panel on the car is constructed from carbon-fibre not just because of its high strength-to-weight ratio, but also for its flexibility of form. This not only reduces mass but means that fewer individual body panels are required – reducing joints and contributing to a more coherent overall shape.
From a practical perspective, the Volante’s boot is 50% larger than that of the previous DBS Volante. It measures 279 litres (roof up or down).
The interior dashboard layout is influenced from the One-77 centre stack, and the Volante’s set-up retains familiar elements such as the ECU engine start button and glass gear selection buttons while also featuring a new infotainment system.
Aston Martin Design Director Marek Reichman explained: “Vanquish Volante is a sports car, of course, but more even than that it is the ultimate Volante. A car which follows a long line of elegant Aston Martin convertibles, this super GT is sculpted to convey sophistication as much as raw power.
“The aerodynamically shaped tonneau, the proportions of the folding fabric roof, the luxurious nature of the cabin – these elements have been pored over by the Design team, working with our Engineering colleagues, to ensure we deliver the aesthetic appeal for which Aston Martin is renowned around the world.”
Under its bonnet the Volante comprises a 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine which drives the rear wheels via a Touchtronic 2 six-speed automatic gearbox. The V12’s power peak of 573 PS (565bhp) arrives at 6,750 rpm while the torque peak of 620 Nm (457 lb ft) is available at 5,500 rpm.
A 51:49 weight distribution ratio has further helped limit the new car’s weight while the gen4 VH architecture is also a lot more rigid. The new Volante is, in fact, 14% torsionally stiffer than the DBS Volante which preceded it.
Aston Martin’s engineering teams have worked particularly hard to minimise the weight outside the wheelbase of the new car to reduce yaw inertia. As a result, carbon fibre has been used extensively in the rear structure and the weight of the aluminium front structure has been limited.
First deliveries of the new sports car are expected to begin in the UK and Continental Europe late in 2013.
Source: Aston Martin