What is it?
£170,000 is a hell of a lot of money but Aston Martin has not shied away from climbing into the thin air of at the top-end of the automotive market. The DBS Volante is as dramatic and hi-tech a production car as the company has ever launched, but it’s also £80k more than the Vantage and £50k more than the DB9 Volante.
Based on the longer version of Aston’s aluminium VH platform, the DBS Volante gets a number of – much needed – technical improvements over its DB9 Volante sister car. A new six-point subframe and extra ‘sheer plate’ bolted to the chassis mean the Volante is only 25 percent less rigid than the coupe.
Like the coupe, the Volante gets a carbonfibre bonnet, wings and boot lid and new design of carbon rear deck. The hood has also been improved over the DB9, with extra layer of (insulative and sound deadening) Thinsulate and it can now be operated at speeds up to 30mph. It also folds in just 14sec, three seconds quicker than the DB9.
The styling is much the same as the coupe, though the DBS gets the same ‘speed humps’ as the Vantage Roadster, which actually cover the pyrotechnic rollover bars. The Volante only comes as ‘2+2’, though the beautifully trimmed rear ‘seats’ are only good for holding a shopping bag.
What’s it like?
The DBS Volante excels in two areas: the detailing and ambience of the interior and in its effectiveness as a high performance GT car.
Really, this is one of the finest automotive cabins yet conceived. Aside from the especially fine, boldly stitched, leather, the cabin is a riot of jewel-like details.
It’s all so well judged - from the excellent ‘comfort’ sports seats to the exact thickness of the steering wheel rim and the superb fonts used for the instruments and trip computer. Some might complain, though, about the well-shaped, but bulky and high-set, gearlever getting in the way of the centre console.
More importantly, the DBS is really first-class on nearly all roads. It is only really handicapped when it runs out of road because of its prodigious width. This car does not intimidate the driver.