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Aston Martin’s twin-turbocharged V8-powered DB12 Volante arrives with soundtrack to match

18 Aug 2023

ASTON MARTIN has sliced the roof off its new front engine, rear wheel drive DB12 Coupe to create the DB12 Volante (convertible) which features a multi-layer soft top and 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol powertrain.


Due for introduction in some markets from Q4 this year, the swan-door DB12 is Aston’s advance guard of a “next generation” of sports cars with the Volante providing the alluring combination of roof-down driving and “spectacular Super Tourer performance and handling”.


Of note is its sleek, low-line roof packaging that facilitates fast operation while impinging minimally on the car’s striking aesthetics.


Typically elegant in appearance, the Volante retains timeless Aston Martin qualities of style and craftsmanship this time revitalised by advanced technologies and state-of-the-art engineering to say nothing of an enhanced driving experience that has been honed to a keen edge.


Like the Coupe, the DB12 Volante is built on a rigid bonded aluminium structure engineered to capably support the new level of dynamics on both models with particular emphasis on the Volante which doesn’t gain strength from an integral metal roof.


This was achieved as much through overall clever chassis design as through the underneath of the vehicle that features reinforced key structural elements such as the rear suspension upper mounting points and lateral connections, as well as performance additions including the engine cross brace, all of which bolster the Volante’s torsional stiffness.


A particular effort was made to reinforce the suspension mounting points for vehicle integrity and dynamic performance.


This engineering allowed the use of a non-isolated steering column and complementary steering and damper tuning to deliver precise on and off-centre steering connection with linearity of vehicle response.


Stupendous performance comes from the Volante’s 4.0 twin-turbo V8 engine embellished by a stirring V8 soundtrack. The hand-built Mercedes-AMG-sourced M177-series unit, tuned by Aston Martin engineers, delivers 500kW of power at 6000rpm complemented by 800Nm of torque between 2750 – 6000rpm.


It features modified cam profiles, optimised compression ratios, larger turbos, and increased cooling to facilitate a 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds with a v-max 325km/h.


Power is fed to the rear axle through a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission with a range of shift strategies optimising each of the dynamic driving modes. Like the Coupe, the Volante uses a short final drive ratio to maximise in-gear punch while an electronic rear differential (E-Diff) aids traction and stability.


The model runs four-stage ESC with a choice of five pre-defined dynamic modes.


Other performance related highlights include new generation “intelligent” adaptive dampers, which have a 500 per cent increase in bandwidth of force distribution compared to previous generation hardware. AM says they gift the Volante a range of dynamic capability and character far in excess of competitor cars.


According to AM the main mechanical difference between DB12 Coupe and Volante are detail revisions to rear spring rate and a dedicated damper tune.


Pin point drive feel and car control is aided by electric power steering with a non-isolated steering column and constant 13.09:1 ratio rack. It rolls on 21-inch forged alloy wheels are fitted with specially developed Michelin Pilot S 5 tyres.


Braking is via cast-iron 400mm front discs and 360mm rear discs as standard with optional Carbon Ceramic Brakes (CCB) offering increased braking performance, reduced brake fade and a 27kg weight saving in unsprung mass.


“Volante possesses all the Super Tourer traits so successfully introduced in the DB12 Coupe. That we have preserved this class-leading performance and handling is testament to the underlying brilliance of the DB12 platform and the work we have done to maintain the advantage of its superb powertrain and chassis in an open-top version,” said Aston Martin chief technical officer, Roberto Fedeli.


“It’s no longer the ‘softer’ option, as the DB12 Volante offers the stimulation of a true sports car with the unique pleasure and satisfaction that only a convertible Aston Martin can deliver.”


The electrically operated, eight layer ‘K-fold’ roof, available in four colours, folds in 16 seconds under a hard tonneau to a mere 260mm stack height aiding packaging, luggage capacity and aerodynamics. Deployment takes 16 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h and can be performed remotely from the key fob.


Visually the Volante’s connection to the Coupe is unmistakeable particularly with the roof deployed.


Inside the Volante is the epitome of luxury and style highlighted by wood veneer or carbon fibre panels on the seatbacks matched to the door trim inlay to create an extra layer of visual interest and luxury when the roof is lowered.


Luxury kit includes a high end, latest tech, and multi-screen infotainment system along with Bowers & Wilkins surround sound hi-fi and HMI systems immersing occupants in a fully connected state-of-the-art experience.


Q by Aston Martin is available with the Volante providing an ultra-luxury personalisation service that allows those who wish to put their own stamp on the DB12 Volante.


“For many of our customers, roof down driving is the greatest pleasure. Aston Martin Volantes have captured that emotion and expressed it in unique style for more than six decades,” said Aston Martin chief executive officer, Amedeo Felisa.


“With the new DB12 Volante we have changed the rules, creating a car that intensifies those feelings by preserving all the purity and exceptional sporting capabilities of the DB12 Coupe. A rare and true sporting convertible in every respect, this is a car to challenge preconceptions and find a new generation of Volante customer”.


The car made its global debut at the Monterey Car Week in California 2023.

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