Aston Martin DB11 Volante mixes V8 power with open-air thrills

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"For many of our customers, indeed many generations of Aston Martin customer, the Volante has always offered something very special: a unique combination of elegant style, innate sporting ability and sensory engagement that lifts it above other open-top cars", said Aston Martin president and CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer. If you're anxious that the soft top roof won't be as strong as a metal one, Aston Martin went to extreme lengths to test the rigidity of the DB11 Volante's roof mechanism.

Aston Martin has taken the wraps off its new DB11 Volante, a convertible version of the company's new V8-powered grand tourer model. The combination of acoustic and insulation materials takes 14 seconds to lower and 16 to close, and can be used at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour with a 31 miles per hour headwind.

Like the coupe, the V8 unit sends 503 horsepower and 513 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic. It can be operated remotely from the key, or on the move at speeds of up to 31mph with a 31mph headwind.

The stunning drop-top was put through more than 100,000 test cycles in special weather chambers created to simulate the conditions of the harshest environments in the world.

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With a sticker price of $216,000, United States buyers should expect to see the Volante in showrooms in early to mid 2018.

The 0-100mph dash gets out of the way in 8.8 seconds and the vehicle will go 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 vehicle is retaining structural and dynamic integrity", Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer Max Szwaj explains. It's also more compact when it's folded, and takes up 20 percent less space in the boot when it's down. "To protect the former you need strength and rigidity, but to preserve the latter you need to keep weight to a minimum".

Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer, Max Szwaj, claims that due to the DB11's new bonded structure the new Volante is 26kg lighter and five per cent stiffer than its V12-engined DB9 predecessor.

The Aston Martin DB11 Volante is available from £159,900, which is roughly £15,000 more than an equivalent DB11 V8 coupe.

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