The Aston Martin DB11 V8 Volante is the open-top model of the posh model’s grand tourer.
Electrical folding material roof, high quality exterior and inside, spectacular GT efficiency
The Aston Martin DB11 V8 Volante combines the pleasures of a top-down convertible with the practicality of a long-distance cruiser, making it a robust contender within the luxurious market.
It presents a gorgeous mixture of visible attraction, high quality and efficiency to supply an evocative however enjoyable driving expertise.
Bentley Continental GTC, Ferrari Portofino, McLaren 570S Spider.
Aston Martin is in an excellent place proper now. Reinvented beneath its new petrolhead CEO Andy Palmer, the model has left its fame as a perennial loss-maker behind and enters 2019 with thrilling plans, together with an SUV, inbuilt an all-new Welsh manufacturing unit.
The turnaround, nevertheless, has been constructed on two pillars – the hardcore sports activities automotive Vantage, which we examined a number of weeks in the past, and the DB11 grand tourer.
The DB11 was the primary automotive launched beneath Palmer’s ‘Second Century’ improvement plan, introduced nearly as he organized the furnishings in his new workplace. Unveiled in 2016, it was designed, Aston Martin tells us, to comply with the model’s custom of providing efficiency, refinement and luxury. It needed to be a automotive very suited to very lengthy journeys, with the driving force having fun with the expertise and never feeling exhausted on the finish of it.
Consumers appeared to agree – the DB11 has proved successful, and now it has gained a sister, the Volante. In Aston converse, Volante successfully means drop-top.
The newcomer boasts the identical Mercedes-AMG-sourced four.Zero-litre twin-turbo V8 engine because the coupé and the identical 2+2 (two individuals and two little or no individuals) seating association. However it provides a folding material roof for a real wind-in-the-hair driving expertise. Material? Don’t fear, that is no abnormal material cowl…
Shopping for and proudly owning an Aston Martin DB11 Volante
For these significantly fascinated about shopping for at this finish of the market worth won’t be such an necessary issue, however in bald figures the DB11 V8 Volante begins from slightly below £160,000, which is round £15,000 greater than the coupé but in addition saving £6,000-plus over its perceived direct rival, the Ferrari Portofino.
One other contender, the soon-to-be-replaced Bentley Continental GTC, is available in at £15,000 greater than the Aston, whereas McLaren’s 570S Spider can also be worthy of consideration at round £165,000.
Not surprisingly the V8 Volante could be very intently associated to its coupé sister, utilizing the identical bonded aluminium physique construction. This makes the automotive each lighter than its predecessor DB9 Volante, which is sweet for dealing with prowess and effectivity, and considerably extra inflexible, which is well-nigh important for convertible automobiles.
In fact, particular measures need to be undertaken to compensate for chopping off the roof. In comparison with the coupé the Volante positive aspects stiffer sills, a bespoke entrance crossmember and Lively Roll Safety – two particular person roll hoops that fireplace up via the rear display to guard the heads of occupants if they’re unlucky sufficient to invert the automotive.
All this provides weight, in fact, the Volante tipping the size at round 110kg greater than its hard-top sister (although once more, it’s 25kg lighter than the DB9 Volante). It might have been heavier had Aston chosen to go the folding hard-top roof, like Ferrari with the Portofino.
As an alternative, we have now a cloth prime – however as talked about, ‘fabric’ doesn’t do it justice. There are some eight layers, with the outcome that with the roof up noise and chills will probably be stored out and occupants will really feel as cosy as in a coupé.
The roof folds and raises electrically, 14 seconds to open up and 16 seconds to shut. This may be completed at speeds as much as 31mph ought to one be threatened, as we have been on our check drive, by a sudden rain bathe. When reclined it sits out of sight within the boot to take care of the visuals.
And what visuals – whereas its youthful sister the Vantage presents the aggressive look of a sports activities automotive, the DB11 is all sweeps and curves befitting a grand tourer. But it additionally manages to seem lithe and purposeful – whereas this can be a huge automotive it doesn’t supply the visible bulk of the Bentley Continental.
The Volante additionally differs in particulars to the coupé – notably, it doesn’t have the distinctive (and never universally in style) channels within the rear pillars to bleed air over the rear flanks. Some argue these appear to be over-large panel gaps. There’s an lively rear spoiler, popping up at velocity to assist maintain the rear on the street, however it’s a fragile merchandise not distracting from what general is a factor of magnificence to take a look at.
A phrase on security – unique luxurious automobiles comparable to these are but to bear the damaging trial of a Euro NCAP crash check, however the DB11 normal specification does embrace, along with the Rollover Safety System, emergency braking help. Additional aids, together with a blind-spot warning system, are on the in depth choices listing.
Contained in the Aston Martin DB11 Volante
First consideration on getting into the automotive is area, and notably boot area, folding roofs infamous for swallowing it up. Sure, in reclined from the roof does quite prohibit what else one can carry, however much less so than would a hard-top. With the roof up you get 206 litres within the boot, which is 20% greater than the previous DB9 Volante used to supply.
The rear seats within the DB11 actually are for the smallest family members, and within the Volante there’s barely much less legroom than even within the coupé. However the seats do include ISOFIX mounts as normal (optionally available on the entrance passenger seat) and you may nearly get a toddler seat or two in.
Within the driver’s seat, it’s all moderately spectacular, particularly the leather-based with its distinction stitching and the veneers, which on our check automotive prolong even to the seat backs (our automotive did include some £31,000 of choices…). The infotainment display does look somewhat caught on and a few of the fitments, notably the air vents, don’t exude the posh one will get in a Bentley, however usually it’s a pleasant place to drive a automotive from.
The infotainment system consists of satellite tv for pc navigation as commonplace via an eight-inch display and Apple iPhone integration is included, although apparently not Android models. You don’t get a DAB digital radio both.
Driving the Aston Martin DB11 Volante
The DB11 makes use of the identical four.Zero-litre twin-turbo V8 engine because the Vantage we examined lately, which is sourced from the AMG efficiency division of Mercedes-Benz, whose mother or father firm Daimler is a 5% shareholder in Aston Martin.
The UK model insists that the engines are individually tuned for its automobiles and the traits of the unit within the DB11 are distinctly totally different to that within the Vantage. It’s not a lot slower to 62mph – the coupé manages the dash in 4 seconds, three tenths behind the Vantage with the Volante a mere tenth additional again.
It feels very totally different nevertheless, – much less aggressive, extra attuned to long-distance journey in luxurious. Potent luxurious, however nonetheless luxurious. The eight-speed automated transmission contributes its half, seamlessly shifting between modes, although one can use the spectacular steering wheel paddles if desired, with which the response is prompt.
The entire automotive will carry out when requested – the DB11 consists of the cockpit-selected driving modes of the Vantage, separate buttons on both aspect of the steering wheel for setting the powertrain and the chassis.
However whereas the Vantage choices vary as much as a raucous monitor mode, within the DB11 you select between GT, Sport and Sport+. Relaxation assured the latter will produce lots sufficient efficiency for many house owners – we discovered leaving the mode set in Sport for common driving was a very good compromise.
In fact with the roof down one can extra clearly hear the engine observe, and it’s suitably evocative, particularly because of the moment throttle response in Sport+ mode. It’s not fairly as in-your-face as within the Vantage, as an alternative a richer, extra upmarket tone, however it nonetheless stirs the senses.
Cautious aero smoothing ensures a scarcity of aero buffeting with the roof down, elevating the aspect home windows enhancing issues additional and enabling straightforward dialog between front-seat passengers even at velocity. A wind deflector is on the market as an choice, although utilizing it renders the rear seats redundant.
Regardless of all of the physique stiffening, the Volante just isn’t fairly as inflexible because the coupé (although much more so than the earlier DB9 drop-top). But it nonetheless performs in corners – the well-tuned electrical energy steering and a supremely sorted chassis mix to make hauling what’s an enormous automotive via the twistiest of nook mixtures each straightforward and enjoyable.
General this can be a automotive that’s enjoyable to drive, however perversely additionally enjoyable to drive – a real GT that this tester might simply think about utilizing each day.
The Aston Martin Vantage impressed us with its controllable efficiency – the DB11 Volante impresses us as a luxurious all-rounder.
Sure, this can be a automotive that may carry out when one needs however will probably be an equally agreeable companion clocking up tons of of motorway miles. And for a summer time drive with the roof down, there are only a few automobiles we might select as an alternative of the Aston…
Attractiveness with few convertible compromises
Spectacular material folding roof
Absolutely meets GT wants of high quality motoring over many miles
Rear seats very cramped
Some oddities on choices listing
No DAB radio or Android telephone integration.
|Make & mannequin||Aston Martin DB11||Bentley Continental GT||Ferrari Portofino|
|Worth (on-road)||From £159,900||From £175,100||From £166,241|
|Engine||four.Zero-litre petrol||6.Zero-litre petrol||three.9-litre petrol|
|Energy||510 hp||590 hp||600 hp|
|Torque||675 Nm||720 Nm||760 Nm|
|Zero-62mph||four.1 sec||four.7 sec||three.5 sec|
|Prime velocity||187 mph||195 mph||199 mph|
|Gasoline financial system (mixed)||28.2 mpg||19.9 mg||26.four mpg|
|CO2 emissions||230 g/km||330 g/km||245 g/km|
|Insurance coverage group||Not said||50E||Not said|
|Euro NCAP score||Not examined||Not examined||Not examined|