Aston Martin DB11 Volante arrives next spring starting at $216495

Project_Neptune_1-jpg

Project_Neptune_1-jpg

One of the sexiest convertibles we've seen in a long time.

This morning, Aston Martin unveiled the new DB11 Volante, luxury convertible that is part of a resurgence of the British luxury carmarker that has been enjoying skyrocketing sales of its DB11 coupe, which it introduced earlier this year.

One of the most striking (and polarizing) design features of the Aston Martin DB11 is its so-called floating roof - that odd C-pillar treatment that some love and some love to hate. That means the DB11 Volante and the DB11 V12 coupe have exactly the same price, $17,500 more than the base V8 coupe. Color choices for the hood include Bordeaux Red, Black Silver, or Grey Silver.

According to Aston Martin's announcement this morning, the roof takes 14 seconds to lower and 16 seconds to close, and can be moved at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour with a 31 mph headwind. Prototypes of the DB11 Volante were also tested in Death Valley, California, and the Arctic Circle for extreme temperatures.

Engineers subjected the roof to more than 100,000 cycles in special weather chambers created to simulate conditions in the world's harshest environments, compressing 10-years of use into a one month test.

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The Volante has the coupe's 4-litre twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet, which produces 503bhp and propels the auto to 62mph from a standstill in 4.1 seconds. It naturally rides on the same all-new bonded aluminum structure underpinning the DB11 Coupe, making it lighter and more rigid than the model it replaces. Aston Martin also says that the new soft top design provides 20 percent more trunk space than the outgoing DB9.

Like the coupe, the V8 unit sends 503 horsepower and 513 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic. The 0-62mph sprint takes 4.1 seconds, with the vehicle accelerating on to a top speed of 187mph. That makes the Volante only a tenth slower to 60 than the coupe, and their top speeds are identical.

"The challenge of creating a convertible auto is retaining structural and dynamic integrity". "To protect the former you need strength and rigidity, but to preserve the latter you need to keep weight to a minimum".

The convertible DB11 variant joins the existing coupe model that launched a year ago, powered by a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 503 horsepower.

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