What is it?
The Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, the range-topping cabriolet we tried in California last year. That means we get the same 6.0-litre V12 engine and the same carbonfibre-skinned body and triple-skinned hood, only now they're under the battleship grey skies of home.
Don't underestimate the effect of a change in backdrop. This is an extravagantly styled and proportioned car. Under the high contrast daylight of the US's west coast, one would imagine practically any paint scheme working; on a wet weekday in Warwickshire, it's a different story.
Tonsil-red bodywork and white leather are a rather more brazen mix than feels appropriate in between the skip lorries on the Fosse Way. Clearly, when shelling out almost £200k on a convertible Aston Martin, there is an element of 'look at me' about the purchase, but we'd advise caution when playing with colour samples – the Volante's many ducts, vents, spoilers and chins leave it susceptible to obvious gaudiness.
Trimmed more tastefully, the cabin is a predictably superior environment. The new centre stack – derived from the One-77's – is a significant step up from the Vantage's version, both in form and function. Technically, the car is a 2+2, but the tiny rear seats aren't going to permit you to enjoy the full-grain leather with more more than one companion. There ought to be enough room for a weekend's worth of luggage, though. Aston says the 279-litre boot has expanded by 50 per cent over the previous DBS.