DB11 Volante is Aston’s sportiest soft-top yet

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Convertible variant of DB11 to launch as V8 only; priced £160,000

Aston Martin’s fast-expanding DB11 range has gained a new drop-top Volante version, powered exclusively by the AMG-sourced 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine.

Aston says the new car is its sportiest open-top model yet. It has chosen to launch with the lighter V8 engine rather than a V12 to ensure the handling is as keen as possible. It is understood that a V12 version is not currently in the product plan, but it would be a likely addition later in the car’s life.

The V8 engine in the 2+2 DB11 Volante produces the same 503bhp at 6000rpm and 513lb ft at 2000-5000rpm as it does in the DB11 V8 coupé. It is connected to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and drives the rear wheels.

With a kerb weight of 1870kg, the DB11 Volante weighs 110kg more than the V8 coupé on which it is based. Aston says the DB11 Volante is some 26kg lighter and 5% stiffer than its V12-powered DB9 Volante predecessor. The weight distribution is claimed to be 47% front, 53% rear.

The roof and its mechanism are a new design for Aston. The folding soft-top consists of eight layers and can be lowered in 14 seconds and raised again in 16 seconds. It can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph and specified in red, black silver or grey silver.

The biggest design difference between the coupé and Volante — aside from the soft-top — is the absence of the aeroblades seen on the fixed-roof model. On the coupé, these sit at the base of the C-pillars, which are deleted on the Volante, and channel air over the rear end. On the Volante, the rear deck is new, and the overall look, roof up or down, is more resolved and complete than that of the DB9 Volante before it.

The DB11 Volante is on sale now, priced from £159,900, an increase of £15,000 over a V8-powered DB11 coupé. Initial deliveries take place in the first quarter of next year.

MARK TISSHAW