Aston Martin unveils soft-top version of DBS ahead of Geneva show launch
25 February 2009

This is the new Aston Martin DBS Volante, revealed in these exclusive Autocar pictures, and due for launch at the Geneva show in March.

Company sources say the open-top Aston Martin DBS Volante is designed as a much more focused driver’s car than the DB9 Volante. “It’s not an outright supercar, but we see it as the ultimate GT car,” said our contact. It’s likely to cost around £170,000 when it goes on sale in the early summer.

See all the pictures of the new Aston Martin DBS Volante

The DBS chassis has undergone a number of changes in its conversion, most of which are aimed at making the roofless model as stiff as possible.

The car is powered by Aston’s familiar 6.0-litre V12 engine, which is good for 510bhp and 420lb ft of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard and a six-speed ZF ‘Touchtronic’ auto is optional.

And even though the DBS Volante is around 90kg heavier than the coupé, it will still hit 62mph in just 4.3sec. Top speed is 191mph. Adaptive Damping, carbon-ceramic brake discs and a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo system are all standard equipment.

Dave Doody, chief platform engineer for the DBS Volante, said body stiffness was paramount. As a result, the DBS Volante is over 25 per cent more rigid than the DB9 drop-top with the roof up and only 25 per cent less stiff than the DBS coupe.

Major changes to the chassis include twin ‘shear panels’ bolted to the floorpan of the car. These are flat aluminium plates that are as wide as the floorpan and extend the length of the longitudinal chassis rails at both ends of the car.

Another major change over the DB9 Volante is the adoption of a six-point rear subframe, which is solidly mounted to the chassis. The DB9 Volante used a more flexible rubber-mounted four-point subframe and only had a single shear panel.

The car also gets an updated fabric roof design, which now includes a layer of Thinsulate. More commonly found in outdoor clothing, the Thinsulate not only keeps the cabin warmer in cold conditions but also acts to increase in-car refinement, helped by improved sealing around the edges of the roof.

The roof will now retract in just 14 seconds and operates at any speed up to 30mph.

Hilton Holloway

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