Aston Martin DB11 Volante: James Bond Should Have Waited
by Martin Green
When Aston Martin launched the DB11 Coupe, I wasn’t impressed. The brand had replaced the organic lines of the beautiful DB9 with a busy concoction of angles and planes that might look impressive if topped off by a badge from an Italian brand. But for an Aston Martin, it was simply too much – at least to me. (For those who might wonder where the DB10 went, only James Bond got to drive that one.)
Now Aston Martin launches the Volante (Aston Martin language for a convertible), and all is well again!
It doesn’t often happen that a convertible is more beautiful than the coupe, but the DB11 is a fortunate exception to this rule. Without a roof the lines of the DB11 become far more fluent, and quite frankly there are also not a whole lot of reasons to prefer the coupe over the convertible.
Aston Martin forgoes popular hardtops (like that of the Ferrari Portofino) to fit the car with a soft top that is available in three different colors. This saves room when the top is down, and although it still doesn’t make the DB11 Volante the best choice for a trip to the grocery store, a tour down the Mediterranean is feasible with more in tow than just your credit card. Aston Martin claims that there is 20 percent more luggage space in this car than in the DB9 Volante.
The soft top consists of eight layers that are quite effective in keeping out the noise. It opens and closes fully automatically, taking 14 seconds for the former to occur and 16 seconds for the latter. You can even do it remotely using your key, effectively drawing attention to the car just before you step into it.
Where is the iconic Aston Martin V12?
The most shocking aspect of the DB11 Volante, and perhaps the only reason why one might prefer the coupe over the convertible, is its engine: while DB11 owners can still enjoy the brand’s own twin-turbocharged V12, the Volante must do without it.
Aston Martin only offers it with the twin-turbocharged V8 made by AMG, a surprising move to say the least! While the V8 is a beautiful engine and will leave very little to desire, the DB11 is a grand tourer, and the appeal to those who buy this type of car is often the V12 engine.
In practice, the only thing you will most likely miss of the V12 is its distinct sound, but other than that you still have 503 horses available, which are guided to the rear wheels by means of an eight-speed automatic gearbox made by ZF. From zero to 100 kilometers per hour only takes 4.1 seconds, and the top speed of 301 kilometers per hour is high enough to effectively clean all the hair off your scalp when driving top down.
While convertibles like the DB11 Volante are ample performers, they are often not driven to the edge of their capabilities. Amid the sumptuous interior, in which Aston Martin showcases what it means to be a British sports car manufacturer, drivers will enjoy the 498 lb-ft of torque that the car spreads out between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm. This makes the car quick to drive and a true joy to take on corner roads with.
The car comes with GT, Sport, and Sport+ settings for the electrically adaptive dampers, which is standard equipment on the DB11 Volante.
Aston Martin is now taking pre-orders with the first deliveries expected in spring 2018. The price starts at $216,495, which makes it just over $15,000 more expensive than the coupe. In my opinion, money well spent because it will give you a far more beautiful car – and when buying a grand tourer, that most definitely matters!
For more information, please visit www.astonmartin.com/en/live/news/2017/10/13/db11-volante-return-of-the-ultimate-convertible-sports-gt.
You might also enjoy: Aston Martin DB11: A Grande Complication.
Quick Facts Aston Martin DB11 Volante
Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8
Power: 503 bhp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 498 lb ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm, rear-wheel drive
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Acceleration: 0-100 kph in 4.1 seconds
Top speed: 301 kph
Base price: $216,495