Replacing the old Vanquish Volante

Aston Martin has just replaced the six-year-old Vanquish with the DBS Superleggera. Introduced in June 2018, the DBS name returns after a six-year absence with a brand-new design, underpinnings from the DB11, and a turbocharged V-12 engine. Now that the coupe is ready to hit the streets, Aston Martin is readying a Volante version. The convertible was spotted testing alongside the coupe and could arrive by the end of the year.

Designed to replace the aging Vanquish Volante, the DBS Superleggera Volante will benefit from Aston Martin’s new design language. The cabriolet will be identical to the coupe below the waist, but it will feature a canvas top instead of the usual metal roof. A more luxurious interior, new technology, and a beefed-up drivetrain will round out the package.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Exterior

  • DB11-inspired design
  • Sportier haunches
  • Aggressive bumpers
  • Slim taillights
  • Sleek profile with the top down
2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Spyshots Exterior
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While the Volante model is just a camouflaged test car for now, Aston Martin has already unveiled the coupe, which means we've seen most of the cabriolet's design.

The two cars will be identical below the waist, with the Volante to feature a soft-top.

The new DBS Superleggera is decidedly different from the outgoing Vanquish. The design is new and fresh and combines features seen on the DB11 with unique styling cues. Up front, the grand tourer is as aggressive as they get, featuring a massive honeycomb grille flanked by big air outlets, a protruding splitter, and slim headlamps with C-shaped LED design. The V-shaped engine hood includes big vents, which give the car a race-inspired look.

Although it will have a different windscreen and roof, the Volante will get the muscular profile of the coupe. I will also sport the louvered cutouts in the front fenders, and deeply sculpted side skirts, and beefy rear haunches. Moving over to what sets the Volante apart, the soft-top will have a slightly different shape. While some manufacturers design them to look like the metal-top of the coupe model, the spy shots suggest that Aston Martin went with something different. The C-pillars are thinner, while the rear window is smaller, which means that the Volante’s deck lid is longer.

2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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The rear section will again be identical to the coupe, although the prototype version has yet to receive all production parts. The convertible will sport the same thin taillights with a light bar that stretches across the entire fascia, a small spoiler on the deck lid, and a black diffuser that incorporates the exhaust pipes and the license plate.

Needless to say, the Volante will also get the coupe's carbon-fiber body panels, as well as the advanced aerodynamics.

However, while the metal-top model generates 397 pounds of downforce at top speed, the convertible will likely generate less due to its slightly different roof shape. The same wheel designs should be available. The 21-inch rollers will come in either Y-spoke or twin-spoke styling and with finishes in either gloss black, satin black, or satin black with satin bronze accents.

Based on photos of the prototype, the Volante won’t look as sexy as the coupe with the top in place. But once the top is folded in the trunk, it should be one of the pretties drop-tops out there.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Interior

  • New design layout
  • Likely based on DB11
  • Leather upholstery
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Sporty seats
  • Infinite headroom
2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Exterior
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Having already seen the DBS Superleggera’s interior, we know that the Volante will get the same layout and features that are almost identical to the DB11.

In short, the DBS Volante will be a DB11 Volante with a few unique features on the inside.

Look for the same organic center stack that’s wider at the top and narrower at the bottom, the "floating," eight-inch infotainment display, and a clean dashboard section on the passenger side. A multi-function steering wheel with a flat bottom will sit between the driver and the 12-inch, all digital instrument cluster. The latter will be one of the features that will differ from the DB11 through custom graphics and a new, three-piece hood on top.

Luxury will be no issue in the DBS Volante. As seen in the coupe, the DBS boasts the company’s finest leather, acres of Alcantara, and even carbon-fiber inlays. The DBS also gained the Nexus quilting and the Celestial perforation for the upholstery on the Sports Plus performance seats. These will enable the driver and front passenger to drive in comfort, while also provide proper support during spirited driving.

2017 - 2018 BMW R 1200 GS
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Tech will include Aston Martin’s latest infotainment system, a new satellite navigation system, a premium audio system, auto-park assist, a 360-degree camera, a tire pressure monitoring system, and keyless entry, among others. T

he coupe’s trunk capacity, which can accommodate two large trolley bags and smaller carry-on baggage, will decrease due to the folding top.

Customization will be possible through trim inlay, which will include dyed open-ore Tamo ash, twill carbon-fiber satin, and satin chopped carbon-fiber. The same options will be offered for the seatback veneers, with the classy piano black on top. Seatbelt colors will include Flint, Champagne, Spicy Red, Mocha, and Graphite.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Performance

  • New 5.2-liter V-12
  • 715 horsepower
  • 664 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic
  • 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds
  • Top speed at 200+ mph
2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Spyshots Exterior
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The heart of the DBS Superleggera Volante will be the twin-turbo, 5.2-liter V-12 engine that Aston Martin debuted in the DB11. The unit was much improved for the DBS and cranks out 725 PS and 900 Nm of torque, which converts to 715 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of twist.

Compared to the Vanquish S Volante, the DBS Volante will gain 123 horsepower and 199 pound-foot.

It will also boast an extra 115 horses and 148 pound-feet compared to the DB11 Volante.

Just like its predecessor, the DBS Volante will be a rear-wheel drive car, with a revised version of the company’s ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic routing the power to the rear axle. The coupe is amazingly fast with a 0 to 62 mph sprint of 3.4 seconds, but the Volante will likely be a tad slower. Expect it to hit the benchmark in 3.5 seconds, which will be two tenths quicker than the Vanquish S Volante. The convertible should also be able to charge from 50 to 100 mph, in fourth gear, in just 4.2 clicks.

The upgraded drivetrain enables the DBS Superleggera to reach a top speed of 211 mph, which is 10 mph higher than the outgoing Vanquish S. The Volante model should get an update as well, but don’t expect it to be as fast as the coupe. Top speed should be rated at around 207 mph for this model.

2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Spyshots Exterior
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The the Volante will get the same modes as the coupe, starting with the GT setup, which provides a comfortable ride with smooth shifts for high-speed highway rolling or stop-and-go inner city trips. The Sport setting gives gives the drivetrain a more dynamic character, while the Sport Plus mode turns the DBS into an aggressive car, enabling quick off-the-line sprints and a race-inspired exhaust note.

Fuel economy will also get better with the turbocharged drivetrain.

While the outgoing Vanquish S returns 16 mpg combined, the Superleggera is good for 22.9 mpg.

Specific EPA figures aren’t yet available, but the Volante should have similar ratings.

Chassis, Suspension, and Brakes

  • Adaptive dampers
  • Lowered ride height
  • Dynamic Torque Vectoring
  • Carbon-ceramic brakes
  • Pirelli tires
2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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The DBS Volante will share underpinnings with the coupe, which in turn is heavily based on the DB11. Upgrades over the latter include an updated suspension geometry with more camber, adaptive dampers, and a slightly lowered ride height (by 0.2 inches).

The DBS suspension is Aston Martin's latest race-bred developed.

The setup includes forged double wishbones at the front and a multi-link system to the rear, as well as a mechanical limited-slip differential with Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Torque Vectoring. The latter applies braking to individual wheels in order to improve the car’s cornering capabilities. The traction control and positive torque control features further improve handling.

The braking system includes carbon-ceramic discs as standard. The 16.1-inch front discs are clamped by six-piston calipers, while the 14.2-inch discs to the rear use four-pot calipers. The grand tourer is also equipped with brake assist features like Electronic Brake Distribution, Emergency Brake Assist, and Hydraulic Brake Assist. Extra grip is provided by the Pirelli tires developed specifically for this model.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Pricing

2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Spyshots Exterior
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The coupe version of the upcoming DBS Superleggera is priced from $304,995 before options. Volante models are usually a tad more expensive so it’s safe to say that Aston Martin will ask around $310,000 for the base Volante model.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Competition

Bentley Continental GTC

2018 Bentley Continental GTC Exterior Spyshots
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Bentley has yet to unleash a convertible version of the latest Continental GT, but an unveiling is expected to take place in 2018. While still familiar on the outside, the current Conti GT received a significant makeover that made it sportier and brought into the modern era. As usual, the cabin is wrapped in fine materials and adorned by aluminum inserts and authentic wood veneer. It may be a tad too luxurious for the DBS Superleggera, but it remains to be seen what Aston Martin has to offer in that department. Under the hood, the range-topping model will get the new twin-turbo, 6.0-liter W-12 engine. Output will remain identical to the coupe, which is rated at 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 62 mph should take around 3.8 seconds, making the GTC significantly slower than the DBS Superleggera. Look for a price tag of around $240,000 before options in the United States.

Read our speculative review of the 2018 Bentley Continental GTC.

Ferrari 812 Aperta

2019 Ferrari 812 Aperta Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior
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The 812 Aperta is also a speculative model as of this writing, but Ferrari could offer one in the near future. Should the 812 Superfast go topless, look for a similar design below the waist and a revised upper section with roll-over hoops and a new engine cover with louvers instead of a glass lid. The Aperta will borrow all underpinnings from the Superfast, so look for the same 6.5-liter V-12 under the hood. Based on the old 6.3-liter unit, the 6.5-liter mill generates an impressive 789 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque. This much output should be enough to send the Aperta flying from 0 to 62 mph in only three seconds, to go with a top speed of around 206 mph. Needless to say, the fastest and most exclusive model in this comparison will also be the most expensive. Expect it to fetch around $360,000.

Rear our speculative review of the 2019 Ferrari 812 Aperta.


2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Spyshots Exterior
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The new DBS Superleggera is a significant improvement over the outgoing Vanquish S and the Volante model will add that infinite headroom many enthusiasts desire. Based on the spy shots, the DBS Volante will be one of the sexiest cabriolets on the market, and Bentley will have a hard time matching it with the upcoming Continental GTC.

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    • Expensive

Further reading

2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
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Read our full review on the 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera.

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante.

2012 Aston Martin DBS Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 511586

Read our full review on the 2012 Aston Martin DBS Coupe.

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Read more Aston Martin news.

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