2014 Aston Martin DB9 Volante POV Test Drive
2014 Aston Martin DB9 Volante POV Test Drive filmed with GoPro Hero. Visit musiccitymotorcars.com for more incredible cars currently available.
2017 New Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante (Convertible) - Exterior and Interior Review
Vanquish Volante is the convertible format of Vanquish, the Ultimate Grand Tourer. Sitting proudly at the top of the Aston Martin model range our flagship car represents the height of our design, engineering, technology and craftsmanship. The open-top version of the Vanquish coupé, the car certainly has the looks to back up the price tag. And it’s a price tag that shows the confidence Aston has in its decade-old and still evolving VH architecture philosophy and 5.9-litre V12 engine. The trouble is, in conversion from coupé to convertible, big sporting GTs like the Vanquish Volante typically suffer somewhere and typically lack the base coat, let alone the final level of polish, to really warrant such a price tag. They lose stiffness to the detriment of ride and handling, gain weight to blunt the performance, and lose practicality, as that retractable roof has to be stored somewhere. Don’t expect such compromises with the Vanquish Volante, Aston claims. Its latest fourth-generation VH architecture makes it the stiffest open-top car Aston has ever produced, and with some fine-tuning to the suspension is said to offer the same handling characteristics as the Vanquish coupé. Indeed, Aston’s most recent convertible, the 2012 DB9 Volante, was greatly improved in the stiffness stakes, boding well for the Vanquish. The addition of a multi-layer fabric lightweight roof adds just 9kg at the kerb, a figure that’s said to lead to no performance penalty to the Volante next to the Vanquish coupé, the two sharing the same 0-62mph time of 4.1sec and 183mph top speed. The clever construction and storage of the roof means boot space is reduced by 89 litres of the Vanquish coupé in the Volante, and its 279-litre figure is the same with the roof up or down. That figure is also 50 per cent greater than the DBS Volante. Out on the road, and it’s immediately obvious how much stiffness has improved, particularly at higher speeds on the wide, smooth Californian roads we tested the Vanquish Volante on. That 14 per cent increase in torsional rigidity over the DBS Volante is partly down to carbonfibre being bonded into the rear section of the VH architecture, and aerospace technology being used in bonding techniques. The level of involvement only really comes when you’re driving at nine or ten tenths. At that point, with the adaptive damping set to Sport or Track (Normal being the default setting, and the hydraulically assisted Servotronic steering system also switching to the firmer of two settings in Sport and Track), your smile becomes bigger, and it becomes more supercar than GT (with the detriment to ride quality marginal in Sport mode). The real problem with the handling comes back to the price and positioning of the car – this is a range-topping Aston Martin with a £200,000 price. Predictable handling shouldn’t be the case in a range-topping Aston; it should make you feel as involved in the experience driving to the shops at one tenth as it should when pushing on your favourite B-road, or a track. Is it better news for the engine? For the most part. The sound is truly epic, and its cruising ability is peerless. At 100mph, the rev counter will still be displaying a number with a two at the start. I could have driven across the US and back again in it, neither of us breaking sweat. While it sounds like a supercar, it doesn’t really go like one. Aston says the only difference between the V12 under the Vanquish Volante's bonnet and the one found in an Aston Martin V12 Vantage S in the engine management system, but it feels like more than that. It certainly doesn’t feel as quick as the 4.1 second 0-60mph time (the same as the coupé, no less) suggests, even with the Sport setting turned on (separate to the one for the adaptive damping) that improves throttle response, gear shifts from the six-speed automatic transmission and allows the engine to rev higher. The linear performance delivery never deviates from very brisk into seriously rapid. The auto’ gearbox, a conventional automatic rather than the automated manual from the Vantage, offers seamless shifts in auto mode or manual, which is controlled with steering column-mounted paddles. It feels as though an extra cog is needed though to broaden the car’s abilities; the driveability of second is absent in third, which is too tall and can sap momentum if you shift too early. Effortless cruising is definitely the strong point of the engine and transmission. Over and above that DB9 Volante the Vanquish Volante gets an even more show-stopping exterior with a carbonfibre body and the same material in its underpinnings, a vastly improved interior, and more power and performance. They’ll instead buy the Aston Martin DB9 Volante, which offers much of the same for much less at a price point where minor issues aren’t the major ones they’d be at £200k, and plot what other kinds of fun they can have with all that leftover money.
2009 Aston Martin DB9 Volante review
Take a $200,000 ride in James Bond's ultimate gadget.
2006 Aston Martin DB9 Volante Convertible Midnight Blue Gulfstream Motorcars