Alfresco V8 - Aston Martin DB11 Volante revealed

2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante

The convertible DB11 variant joins the existing coupe model that launched past year, powered by a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 503 horsepower. The convertible sports vehicle benefits from three-stage powertrain and chassis modes, working in flawless harmony with the eight-speed automatic transmission, electric power steering, and limited-slip differential with dynamic torque vectoring. The trade-off for such a sleek top-down profile is perhaps less of the coupe's contemporary design character - there's no equivalent of the floating roof arches here. Torque is 513lb ft and the auto produces 255g/km CO2. A neat touch is the new veneer panels on the seat backs.

The eight-layer convertible fabric roof is available in red, dark silver or grey silver.

The all-new 8-layer hood is created to insulate the occupants from the extremes of weather and wind noise, taking just 14 seconds to lower and 16 to close. More usable rear seats, for the first time with ISOFIX points for child seats, more room, more comfort and more refinement, plus the quality and electronics re-invention ushered in by the DB11, are all evident here.

With prices starting at £159,900, the DB11 Volante is a hefty £15,000 more expensive than the DB11 V8 coupe.

Unlike the coupe, which launched with a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12, the Aston Martin DB11 Volante is only available with the recently introduced 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 sourced by Mercedes-AMG. Being based on the coupe's aluminum platform, the DB11 Volante is lighter and more rigid than the outgoing DB9 Volante, and also benefits from a 20 percent gain in trunk volume. The eight layered roof protects you from the most extreme weather (it was tested in Death Valley and the Arctic Circle) and wind noise.

Aston Martin has lifted the lid off its handsome DB11 (last year's 'Design of the Year' victor at the T3 Awards) and, as a result, created the most lovely auto we've ever seen.

Prices for the Volante start at £159,900 in the United Kingdom, €199,000 in Europe and $216,495 in the US. Not that the British automaker has been keeping it a secret - Aston Martin showed off a prototype of the DB11 Volante over a year ago, with a launch date penned for spring 2018.

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