Aston Martin’s flagship convertible replaces the old Vanquish Volante

The 2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante is the cabriolet version of the company’s latest range-topping grand tourer. Introduced to replace the already iconic but old Vanquish S Volante, the DBS Superleggera name returns after a six-year absence with a brand-new design, underpinnings from the 2018 Aston Martin DB11, and a turbocharged V-12 engine that generates in excess of 700 horsepower.

Designed to replace the aging Vanquish Volante, the 2020 DBS Superleggera Volante benefits from Aston Martin’s new design language that’s sleeker and more aggressive. The cabriolet is identical to the coupe below the waist, but it features a canvas top instead of the usual metal roof. A more luxurious interior, new technology, and a beefed-up drivetrain round out the grand tourer that challenges the 2020 Bentley Continental GTC.

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Exterior

  • DB11-inspired design
  • Sportier haunches
  • Aggressive bumpers
  • Slim taillights
  • Sleek profile with the top down
  • Revised roof shape
  • Canvas top
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Although it has a different windscreen and roof, both sitting lower than the coupe's, the Volante boasts the same muscular profile.

The DBS Superleggera Volante is obviously identical to the coupe below the waist. The 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 has a different windscreen and roof, both sitting lower than the coupe’s, the Volante boasts the same muscular profile. It also sports the louvered cutouts in the front fenders, the deeply sculpted side skirts, and beefy rear haunches. Moving over to what sets the Volante apart, the soft-top has a slightly different shape. While some manufacturers design them to look like the metal-top of the coupe model, Aston Martin went with something different. The C-pillars no longer extend toward the back and the rear window is smaller, which means that the Volante’s deck lid is longer.

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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But even though it doesn’t look as sleek as the coupe with the top up, the Superleggera Volante is quite the sexy cabriolet with the roof folded in the trunk.

The top is available in eight distinct colors, including Bordeaux Red, Atlantic Blue, and Titan Grey.

Speaking of the roof, Aston Martin paid great attention to the folding mechanism. With a stack height of only 260 mm (10.2 inches) for the folded roof, the DBS Superleggera benefits from a smooth and seamless rear deck, which also helps maintain the coupe’s aerodynamic properties. Opening the soft-top takes only 14 seconds, while closing it takes 16 seconds. You can do this from the remote key within a two-meter (78-inch) radius of the car.

The roof has been exposed to extreme conditions from heat to freezing temperatures during which the mechanism has been put through more than 100,000 opening cycles. Aston Martin claims it simulated 10 years of usage into a one-month test without any issues.

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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The top is available in eight distinct colors, including Bordeaux Red, Atlantic Blue, and Titan Grey, so you can pick between tens of exterior color combinations without paying for special options.

Despite the open-top layout, the DBS Superleggera Volante is almost as aerodynamic as the coupe. The drop-top produces 177 kg (390 pounds) of downforce at maximum speed, only three kg (6.6 pounds) less than the coupe.

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Exterior Dimensions
Length 4,715 mm (185.6 inches)
Width 2,145 mm (84.4 inches)
Height 1,295 mm (51 inches)
Wheelbase 2,805 mm (110.4 inches)
Front Overhang 915 mm (36 inches)
Rear Overhang 995 mm (39.2 inches)
Ground Clearance 90 mm (3.5 inches)
Front Track 1,665 mm (65.6 inches)
Rear Track 1,645 mm (64.8 inches)

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Interior

  • New design layout
  • Based on DB11
  • Leather upholstery
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Sporty seats
  • Infinite headroom
  • Carbon-fiber trim
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A multi-function steering wheel with a flat bottom sits between the driver and the 12-inch instrument cluster.

The Volante version comes with the same interior as the coupe, which in turns is almost identical to the DB11. In short, the DBS Volante is a DB11 Volante with a few unique features.

It has 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 sits between the driver and the 12-inch, all-digital instrument cluster. The latter is one of the features that differ from the DB11 through custom graphics and a new, three-piece hood on top.

Luxury is 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 features the Nexus quilting and the Celestial perforation for the upholstery on the Sports Plus performance seats. These enable you to drive in comfort, while also providing proper support during spirited driving.

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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The DBS boasts the company’s finest leather, acres of Alcantara, and even carbon-fiber inlays.

Tech includes 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. The coupe’s trunk capacity, which can accommodate two large trolley bags and smaller carry-on baggage, decreased due to the folding top, but the Brits have yet to release figures.

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

You can also personalize the interior of the soft-top through six Rokona headliners. For the first time on an Aston Martin Volante model, the window screen surround is available with a 2x2 twill carbon-fiber finish, with the option to continue that theme to the tonneau cover and rear waterfall. Large pieces of finely woven carbon fiber pieces replace what was once covered in leather. Tinted carbon fiber is also available for these surfaces.

2020 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 3.6 seconds
  • Top speed at 211 mph
  • Rear-wheel drive
2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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The 5.2-liter V-12 cranks out a whopping 715 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.

The DBS Superleggera Volante features the same 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 boasts an extra 123 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of twist. It also generates an extra 115 horses and 148 pound-feet compared to the DB11 Volante.

Just like its predecessor, the DBS Volante is 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. While the coupe is amazingly fast with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 3.4 seconds, the Volante is two tenths slower, needing 3.6 clicks to get there. The drop-top is also two tenths quicker than its predecessor, the Vanquish S Volante.

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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The drop-top needs 3.6 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start.

The upgraded drivetrain enables the DBS Superleggera Volante to reach a top speed of 211 mph. That’s identical to the coupe and notably higher than the Vanquish S Volante.

The Volante features the same driving 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 switches 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 also gets better with the turbocharged drivetrain. While the outgoing Vanquish S returned 16 mpg combined, the Superleggera is good for 22.9 mpg. Specific EPA figures aren’t yet available, but the Volante model should have similar ratings.

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante vs. 2019 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Performance Specs
2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante 2018 Aston Marting Vanquish S Volante
Engine twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12 5.9-liter V-12
Horsepower 715 hp 592 hp
Torque 664 lb-ft 465 lb-ft
Transmission eight-speed automatic eight-speed automatic
0-60 mph 3.6 seconds 3.8 seconds
Top Speed 211 mph 197 mph

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Chassis, Suspension, and Brakes

  • Adaptive dampers
  • Lowered ride height
  • Dynamic Torque Vectoring
  • Carbon-ceramic brakes
  • Pirelli tires
2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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The setup includes forged double wishbones in the front and a multi-link system in the rear.

The DBS Volante shares 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 setup includes forged double wishbones in the front and a multi-link system in the rear, as well as a mechanical limited-slip differential with Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Torque Vectoring. The latter applies the brakes 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 in 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.

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Pricing

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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Pricing for the DBS Superleggera Volante starts from $329,100 in the United States, including the Gas Guzzler tax. That’s an extra $24,105 over the coupe, the usual premium for luxury convertibles.

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Competition

Bentley Continental GTC

2018 Bentley Continental GTC
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The third-generation Continental was unveiled in convertible form for the 2020 model year. Sleeker and more muscular than before, it doesn’t look as sporty as the DBS Superleggera, but it’s a solid option if you’re into elegant-looking drop-tops. The GTC is just as luxurious inside the cabin, features authentic wood trim, loads of leather, a rotating infotainment display, 20-way adjustable seats, and a premium audio system. It’s also fully customizable, just like the Aston Martin. The soft-top takes 19 seconds to fold or unfold. Under the hood lurks a massive 6.0-liter W-12 rated at 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Although it loses the horsepower battle, the Continental GTC is only marginally slower than the DBS Superleggera, requiring 3.7 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Top speed is rated at 207 mph, 4 mph lower than the Aston Martin. Unlike the DBS, the GTC comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system. The Continental GTC will be priced from around $240,000.

Read our full review of the 2018 Bentley Continental GTC.

Ferrari 812 Aperta

2019 Ferrari 812 Aperta Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior
- image 716231

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.

Conclusion

2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
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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. The DBS Volante is also one of the sexiest cabriolets on the market and it trumps the Bentley Continental GTC in just about every department. On the flipside, the DBS Superleggera is notably more expensive than its British rival.

  • Leave it
    • Expensive

Further reading

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

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Exterior
- image 725469

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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