Earlier this year, Aston Martin updated its super-GT Vanquish S coupé and its soft-top Volante version by squeezing more juice from its 5.9-litre normally aspirated V12. Induction and exhaust mods increased peak power from 565bhp to 592bhp, and although peak torque remained as before at 465lb ft, the rev band in which that figure was available became wider.
Aero tweaks are there too, along with model-specific rates for the heavier Volante’s adaptive-damper suspension. Convertibles are generally weightier than their coupé equivalents. Most modern cabrios don’t add more than about 50kg, but in this respect the front-engined, aluminium-structured Volante is an old-school car: with a heavy electric opening/closing mechanism and a thickly-insulated fabric hood, it’s 100kg heavier than the Vanquish S.
Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante
Engine: V12, 5935cc, petrol
Power: 592bhp @ 7000rpm
Torque: 465lb ft @ 5500rpm
Gearbox: 8-spd automatic
Kerb weight: 1919kg
Top speed: 197mph
CO2/tax band: 302g/km, 37%
That extra weight is carried high up, which is less desirable from a handling perspective, but then again buyers are unlikely to be choosing a Volante over a Vanquish coupé. They’ll more likely be choosing it instead of a Ferrari California T, a Rolls-Royce Dawn, or a Bentley Continental GT Convertible. Against this sort of opposition, the Volante is even more competitive than the hard-top, if only because there’s no soft-top version of the superb Ferrari 812 Superfast in that buying mix.
And anyway, the inherent Vanquish S character comes through loud and clear in the convertible. Quite literally so, in terms of the loud bit. There may be better sounding cars around, but we’re not aware of them. How can you top the unfettered howl of a perfectly balanced non-turbo twelve? It’s sensational. We’re struggling to come up with a list of better-looking convertibles too.
The ride is good and, although you can sense the Volante’s extra heft, the body control is excellent, the throttle and 8-speed automatic are snappy, and the steering response is uniform.
Nothing is perfect, mind. On a poor road you’ll see the rear seat tops wobbling and feel the steering kicking back, but if you wanted the ultimate super-GT thing you would probably have bought something with a fixed roof. Buy without fear, and with a small pot of hair gel.