What is it?
This handsome thing is the Aston Martin DB11 Volante. Aston created a new architecture for the DB11, replacing the old aluminium VH platform that underpinned everything it made with a new aluminium one, which will eventually underpin most things it will make.
And it was pretty good when it landed. Really good, in fact. Still, ever since that first introduction of it, in the DB11 V12 coupé, Aston’s engineers have been tweaking and amending it – you’ll read about what they’ve done for the Vantage soon enough – and they’ve learned a thing or two along the way.
Here they’ve learned how to attach a soft-top to it, rather handsomely, I’d say. The key is getting enough layers in it to insulate, but not so many that it’s heavily pronounced. They’re proud of how little space it takes up behind the rear seats, and how much room it still leaves in the boot. There’s a sliding divider in there, but with the roof up, and the divider out of the way, there’s 206 litres of boot space, 20% more than in a DB9 Volante.
Other numbers? Despite stiffening in the sills, by increasing the metal’s wall thickness, 45%-more-rigid bushes in the isolated rear subframe and redesigning what they colloquially call the ‘garden gate’ – a cross-member that runs across the car ahead of the engine and locates to the cast suspension mounts – the chassis’ torsional rigidity has fallen from 34kN/deg on the coupé to 22kN/deg here.
That, though, is considerably more than the 14.7kN/deg of the DB9 Volante, and anything over 20kN/deg gives engineers something fairly rigid to work with. It adds a bit to the weight of this V8-only model, mind; 110kg over the DB11 V8 coupé, leaving it the same weight as the V12 coupé. The hood operates, quietly, at up to 31mph. It adds £15k to the coupé’s price.