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Aston Martin unveils its fastest-ever convertible – the 211mph DBS Superleggera Volante

By Paul Connolly

Aston Martin has officially unveiled its fastest ever drop-top, the fire-breathing £247k DBS Superleggera Volante.

Following the launch of its DBS Superleggera Coupe sister car, the Volante features a fabric folding roof with an eight-layer collapsible mechanism.

Despite the extra chassis engineering required to compensate for the loss of a hard roof, Aston Martin’s engineers have managed to keep the same 211mph top speed as the coupe model.

The Superleggera is Aston Martin’s GT (Grand Tourer) flagship model, and the convertible version is sure to attract lots of attention, designed as it is to retain the coupe’s driving dynamics, aggressive poise and performance levels.

It’s the second Aston Martin to carry the Volante name since the introduction of the company’s Second Century Plan (seven new cars in seven years and a second manufacturing plant) announced in 2015.

The model rollout so far includes the DB11 (and the DB11 Volante) the uber-sporty Vantage, the imminent DBX SUV and the Valkeryie limited edition hypercar made in association with Red Bull Racing.

Under the bonnet of the DBS Superleggera (it means ‘superlight’ in Italian) Volante lurks Aston Martin’s own 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 engine, producing 715BHP 900Nm of torque, and with a top speed of 211mph.

It can sprint from 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds and does 0-100mph in 6.7 seconds.

A huge 900Nm of torque is fed via a carbon-fibre prop shaft to a new ZF 8-speed automatic transmission mounted at the back of the car.

Volante is an Aston Martin styling term signifying a convertible, and therefore great thought and innovation has gone into the DBS Superleggera Volante’s roof.

Aston Martin has developed an advanced fabric system that incorporates eight layers of insulation materials and acoustically enhancing materials. The aim, says the manufacturer, is to improve interior cabin comfort, but allow “a true orchestra of sound to pour into the cabin when retracted”.

The DBS Superleggera Volante has been equipped with a quad exhaust system and tuned to provide “incredible sound quality synonymous with an Aston Martin Super GT”.

Aston Martin says its engineers have worked hard to ensure the best possible roof and rear package is achieved, while still delivering conflicting targets of styling and durability.

Roof operation takes 14 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close and can be operated from inside or from the remote key within a two-metre radius of the car.

Aston Martin’s Marek Reichman said: “DBS Superleggera produces a spectacular and relentless level of performance and so for the Volante, we focussed on bringing that extra level of sensory overload that only an open-top Super GT can deliver inside the cabin.

“With the unique dynamics, beautiful yet brutish design and the unmistakable harmonics of Aston Martin’s 5.2-litre V12 engine, we believe we have delivered a unique and unforgettable driving experience that is synonymous with the traditions of the Volante name.”

The car’s roof can be personalised and is available in eight distinct colours including Bordeaux Red, Atlantic Blue and Titan Grey.

Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer added: “There is nothing on earth that compares to the roar of an Aston Martin V12 and I believe that the DBS Superleggera Volante provides one of the greatest sensory experiences in the automotive world.

“This is truly a testament to the no-compromise approach of our engineers and designers, to deliver the two key aspects of a convertible Super GT.

“Exceptional performance in an irresistible form, DBS Superleggera has justifiably won the hearts and minds of Super GT lovers the world over, and the Volante takes this concept to the next level”.

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante is priced at £247,500 (RRP including tax). Deliveries are set to begin from the autumn of this year.

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