The open-top version of the Vanquish coupé, the car certainly has the looks to back up the price tag. And it’s a price tag that shows the confidence Aston has in its decade-old and still evolving vertical-horizontal (VH) architecture philosophy and 5.9-litre V12 engine.
The trouble is, in conversion from coupé to convertible, big sporting GTs like the Vanquish Volante typically suffer somewhere and typically lack the base coat, let alone the final level of polish, to really warrant such a price tag.
They lose stiffness to the detriment of ride and handling, gain weight to blunt the performance, and lose practicality, as that retractable roof has to be stored somewhere.
These were issues – particularly chassis flex – that plagued the Vanquish Volante’s immediate predecessor, the DBS Volante. With all these gremlins, it’s fair to say the DBS Volante was not our favourite Aston from recent history, despite its billing as the firm’s range topper before the Vanquish coupé arrived late last year at least.
Don’t expect such compromises with the Vanquish Volante, Aston claims. Its latest fourth-generation VH architecture makes it the stiffest open-top car Aston has ever produced, and with some fine-tuning to the suspension is said to offer the same handling characteristics as the Vanquish coupé. Indeed, Aston’s most recent convertible, DB9 Volante, was greatly improved in the stiffness stakes, boding well for the Vanquish.
The addition of a multi-layer fabric lightweight roof adds just 9kg at the kerb, a figure that’s said to lead to no performance penalty to the Volante next to the Vanquish coupé, the two sharing the same 0-62mph time of 4.1sec and 183mph top speed.
The clever construction and storage of the roof means boot space is reduced by 89 litres of the Vanquish coupé in the Volante, and its 279-litre figure is the same with the roof up or down. That figure is also 50 percent greater than the DBS Volante.
Once you’ve stopped admiring the looks outside, head inside to push that still gorgeous glass key into the centre console and enjoy the deep, bassy growl of the V12 starting up; a noise best enjoyed, of course, with the roof down.