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First drive: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.

First drive: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
How to improve on the Aston DBS Superleggera? Take its roof off of course.

 



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Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante

5 5 5 5 5

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante is the new open-topped version of the already quite sensational coupe. For those that like their supercars to have no roof and unending torque, there's nothing quite like it.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
Pricing: starts at 247,500
Engine: 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Body style: two-door, four-seat convertible
CO2 emissions: 295g/km (VED Band over 255: 2,135 in year one)
Combined economy: 20.1mpg
Top speed: 211mph
0-62mph: 3.6 seconds
Power: 725hp at 6,500rpm
Torque: 900Nm at 1,800-5,000rpm

What's this?

The inevitable open-topped version of the sublime Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. It's called the Volante, as is Aston's way, and it's a key addition to the range for its important North American marketplace. The folding fabric roof borrowed from the Aston Martin DB11 has been employed, which raises in 16 seconds and drops in 14. There are eight different roof colours and six headliner options to choose from. Though the rear bodywork has been considerably revised to accommodate the folded roof, it still impinges on boot space and rear passenger room, but as the latter was already at a premium in the DBS Superleggera coupe, we suspect that buyers of the Volante model won't care.

And though the Volante has gained about 180kg, its twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12's significant torque output makes light work of it, helping the big 'Super GT' to hit 62mph in 3.6 seconds - only two tenths slower than the coupe manages.

How does it drive?

Drive the DBS Superleggera Volante in its default GT settings and you're likely to be impressed by its pace, flexibility and usability. But once you've dialled the driving modes up, first to Sport, and then to Sport Plus, we suspect that you'll never look back. Usefully, the settings of the adaptive damping are separate to the rest of the sub-systems (i.e. throttle response, exhaust, transmission, steering), but you'll soon discover that, unless the road surface is truly dire, the car is perfectly happy in its hardest damper setting most of the time. Yes, it's firm, but here that seems to mean a tighter control on body movements rather than an increase in discomfort. It's very well judged.

Unsurprisingly, the razor-sharp throttle response in the Sport Plus setting can mean less than smooth progress in stop-start traffic, but a more progressive throttle is only a button press away in the GT mode. Saying that, the exhaust is particularly boisterous in Sport Plus, even when ambling about and, as childish as that may be, it's reason enough to choose the Volante version of this car, so you can hear more of the noise more of the time. It is a great big 5.2-litre V12, after all and, while you can hear the turbochargers at work sometimes, they're drowned out by the wailing of the exhaust under full throttle.

Good luck using full throttle often or for very long. To get the full 725hp at 6,500rpm means first of all sustaining the onslaught on the senses that is this car's 900Nm of torque. It's available on full throttle from just 1,800rpm and doesn't let up until 5,000rpm, giving the Superleggera breath-taking in-gear acceleration from seemingly any speed. You really don't need much space to safely get past slow traffic and you'll need a lot of self-restraint to keep your speed sensible on the public road.

Interestingly, the weight distribution of the Volante is a little better than the coupe's and, while its body is a bit less stiff in torsion, it's still exceptionally rigid, with no obvious shimmy and shake over poor roads. Massive carbon ceramic brakes are standard, too, as on the coupe, though Aston Martin has worked on the brake modulation, especially at low speeds.

If you intend to use the DSB Superleggera's considerable performance regularly, with the roof down, then you absolutely have to tick the options box marked "Wind Deflector" - it does its job admirably, making the Volante a comfortable long-distance GT to just cover miles in. Not that we expect many owners to think of it like that.

Verdict

Aston Martin nailed the niche 'Super GT' remit when it launched the stunning DBS Superleggera, mixing supercar performance with long-distance ability in an intoxicating and unique package. The Volante model does all that with the added appeal of unhindered access to the elements and the noise coming from the V12's exhaust. What's not to love?

5 5 5 5 5 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

3 3 3 3 3 Passenger Space

3 3 3 3 3 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Driving Dynamics

5 5 5 5 5 Powertrain


Shane O' Donoghue - 3 Jul 2019









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2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.

2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Image by Aston Martin.








 

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