• Key facts: 6.0-liter V-12 with 510 horsepower; 191-mph top speed; six-speed manual or automatic transmission
• On sale: Now
• Price: $300,000 (est.)
The last piece in the Aston Martin DBS puzzle is about to be fitted in place, with the arrival of the 2010 DBS Volante convertible.
Previewed at the Geneva motor show and in spy shots aplenty here at Motor Authority, the new aluminum-bodied roadster arrives in the U.S. later this year as a 2010 model. And, since we'll be driving the new convertible later this month at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, it's time to remind you of what's in store for this powerful exotic, and for us.
The DBS Volante is, by Aston's reckoning, the "ultimate open air motoring experience." With the new convertible top, purist-pleasing rear-wheel drive, a massively powerful V-12 engine under the sleek hood, and the tech-forward reputation of today's Aston Martin lineup, the new Volante promises to be as convincing a drive as the one we took earlier this year in the V8 Vantage roadster.
In the surgical process that removes the roof structure of the DBS coupe, Aston Martin took the usual--and some unusual--steps to ensure the bonded and riveted body kept its rigidity as well as its dashing good looks. Aston designed the DBS to be a convertible one day, so the structural changes are minimal. The top itself is fabric, and it stacks and folds quickly: it's just 14 seconds to full sun exposure, and the top can be lowered at speeds of up to 30 mph. A hard tonneau keeps the Volante's shoulders bare and clean.
While the V8 Vantage range has eight-cylinder power (for now), the larger DBS and DBS Volante share a titan of a V-12 engine. In the Volante, the twelve-cylinder pings the 510-horsepower mark, and twists out 420 pound-feet of torque. Aston Martin promises that the power, delivered through the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, will push the Volante to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds on its way to a 191-mph top speed. Their word? "Effortless."
Meeting the performance demands of the powertrain are big carbon-ceramic brakes. And while the DBS Volante's no anorexic at 3990 pounds curb weight, it is trimmer than it could have been, thanks to a hood, decklid and front fenders fabricated from carbon fiber. Handling and ride qualities can be tweaked with dash-mounted buttons for Sport mode, which quickens the reflexes of the automatic, the shocks, steering and throttle.
The Volante is technically speaking, a 2+2, but the back seat and its leather-trimmed seats are admittedly made for "younger persons or extra luggage," Aston reminds. Interior trim is accented with carbon fiber and trimmed of fat with lightweight carpeting--though Aston still fits a Bang & Olufsen "BeoSound DBS" in-car entertainment system, complete with 13 speakers and sound tuned for top-down driving. Safety gear includes stability control with track-driving modes, as well as front and side airbags and anti-lock brakes.
We'll be back with a full driving report on the 2010 DBS Volante in two weeks.