The inconvenient knock-on effect was that the rear bodywork needed a total redesign, panel by panel, in order to retain visually the same heavy-set but perfectly proportioned musculature as the coupe. The tail now sits a fraction lower, and the gurney flap does without its secret, downforce-developing C-duct, but wearing a set of new forged 21in wheels, the car certainly looks no less attractive for it and the coupe’s character is indeed preserved.
What's it like?
So does the same apply to the dynamics?
Nearly. The rear spring and skyhook damper rates are increased to cope with an additional 100kg of mass (not all of it in the roof mech; the sills are reinforced and there’s also a new rear cross-brace) but the setup is tuned to mimic the coupe’s specific – and excellent – blend of handling and ride comfort.
It’s mostly there, not least because the Volante is very nearly as stiff as the coupe with the roof up, and you lose only 5% of that rigidity when you peel back the canvas. However, the extra weight robs it of those last few degrees of composure on less than perfectly surfaced roads, and in terms of all-round dexterity. There are modes for the suspension, and in their firmest setting the dampers do a very good job of keeping body control close without shattering the ride quality, but at speed that back axle is less poised than with the coupe, and more prone to a shimmy. It's marginal, but it's there.
This car doesn’t feel quite as breathtakingly quick as the coupe in a straight line, either, although that is a relative observation: with 663lb ft the Volante still accelerates to 100mph in less than seven seconds, and a mere half-second slower than an Aventador SVJ. For a device with so much dynamic polish and long-distance comfort relative to the mid-engined Lamborghini – plus the versatility of rear seats (whether you use them to store small children or leather duffel-bags is up to you) – that's absurd.
Elsewhere there are even improvements over the coupe. Shifts for the torque-converter transaxle have been ironed out at lower engine speeds and following feedback from owners there’s now less servo-assistance for the carbon-ceramic brakes, which feel more natural. These things matter, and once acclimatised to its sheer scale, the Volante is perfectly docile when loping along at great speeds with the damper rates dialled back and the roof lowered, which takes 14 seconds and can be done at up to 31mph, or using the key fob when you're parked up.
Equally, dip the throttle for a 5.2-litre open-air locomotive thrash. Forced induction means this 'Cologne' V12 nevers howls like the 5.9-litre in the old DBS, but the exhaust tuning is pretty flamboyant in the most aggressive engine mapping and it's a smooth, bellowing soundtrack.