Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, 2014
Aston Martin unveiled the Vanquish Volante - a stunning new luxury sports car that brings the thrill of open top motoring to the super GT class.
Instantly becoming one of the most beautiful cars in its class, Aston Martin Vanquish Volante crucially retains the coupe's dynamic character and sporting capability. It boasts the same new AM11 6.0-litre V12 engine as the coupe and the same blistering performance figures, meaning the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint is despatched in just 4.1 seconds (estimated) while the top speed stands at 183 mph (294 km/h).
Aston Martin Vanquish Volante is the first fully carbon fibre-skinned Volante in the brand's 100-year history, while also being the stiffest Volante body structure yet created by the engineering team at Aston Martin's global HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. The new car's triple-skin lightweight fabric roof takes just 14 seconds to fold.
The design of Aston Martin Vanquish Volante represents the latest take on Aston Martin's iconic visual language. Styling cues such as the elegant waist, elongated side strakes and LED rear light blades are derived from the One-77 supercar while the folding fabric roof sits beneath a tonneau and decklid that have been aerodynamically tuned for optimum performance.
The windscreen is now full height - a first for Aston Martin - which means that the glass runs up to meet the fabric roof, thereby achieving a particularly clean transition.
The Aston Martin Vanquish Volante's 'suit' of carbon fibre panels cloaks a cabin that is both sophisticated and comfortable. The 2+2 cabin is elegantly attired in authentic and luxurious materials: full grain Luxmil leather with optional quilting, metal controls and satin chrome trim underscore the car's well-appointed nature.
The facia trim now stretches down the whole centre stack and is manufactured from a single piece of material giving a uniform finish.
The user interface boasts a simple, ergonomically efficient layout as well as technological updates that make it the brand's most advanced in-car system available today.
Capacitive glass buttons with illumination and haptic feedback feature in the rest of the centre stack's switchgear. Haptic feedback is more commonly found in touch-screen mobile phones and Aston Martin became among the first significant luxury car manufacturers in the world to use the technology in a series production model when it debuted on Vanquish coupe in 2012.
Aston Martin Design Director Marek Reichman explained: "Vanquish Volante is a sports car, of course, but more even than that it is the ultimate Volante. A car which follows a long line of elegant Aston Martin convertibles, this super GT is sculpted to convey sophistication as much as raw power.
The V12's power peak of 573 PS (565 bhp) arrives at 6,750 rpm while the torque peak of 620 Nm (457 lb ft) is available at 5,500 rpm. These numbers translate into performance that matches the Vanquish coupe's and ensures the new car supports its Super GT billing.
The dynamics have been tuned precisely, with new springs and damper settings calibrated to deliver the same crisp handling yet compliant ride as the coupe.
Strenuous efforts have been made to limit the new car's weight; contributing to its impressive performance, agile handling and compelling power-to-weight ratio. The combination of controlled weight, near-perfect 51:49 weight distribution, a powerful V12 engine and a performance-honed six-speed transmission unite to make the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante as rewarding on the move as it is beautiful standing still.
Like its coupe counterpart, the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante uses the latest generation of Aston Martin's class-leading VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture, a lightweight bonded aluminium structure that provides outstanding strength and rigidity. In this iteration, the Vanquish now includes the addition of significant semi-structural carbon fibre components, as well as the use of bonding derived directly from the latest aerospace technologies.