If you chucked over £200k at your local Bentley dealer and came away with a well-appointed Continental GT Convertible, it’s unlikely you’ll feel short-changed. As a luxury waft-mobile with serious pace and ability, it’s not really possible to do better. Unless that is, you place sportiness high up on your agenda, because Aston Martin has just revealed this DBS Superleggera Volante.
Inevitably, adding a folding soft-top roof and the necessarily under-body stiffening has added a little bit of weight. Actually, no, it’s added a lot of weight - at 1863kg, the dry figure of the Volante is some 170kg higher than the coupe. But with 715bhp and 664lb ft of torque on offer from the 5.2-litre, twin-turbo V12, it’s still plenty fast.
0-62mph arrives in just 3.6 seconds, a drop of two tenths relative to the tin top. With the roof up, the top speed is 211mph, which is unchanged from the coupe. The most impressive stat of all is arguably the fourth gear 50-100mph run - it’ll do it in just 4.2 seconds.
Like the coupe, it has the clever Aeroblade II system - which channels air through ducts behind the rear windows and out the boot lid to increase downforce. It’s been given a few tweaks due to the presence of the folding roof, but the general principle is the same.
At its top speed, the Volante develops 177kg of downforce, just 3kg shy of what the coupe generates at the same speed.
The roof itself has eight layers of insulation, ensuring the drop-top is just as good a cruiser as the coupe. It takes 14 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close, something which you can do at speeds of up to 31mph. Alternatively, it’s possible to open it remotely with the key, should you wish.
The mechanism was tested in both the extreme cold of the Arctic Circle and the brutal heat of Death Valley during its development. It went through over 100,000 cycles during a one-month test, amounting to about 10 years of normal usage. In other words, it should cope just fine if you want to drop the top down and show off while driving around Monaco or similar.
With prices starting at £247,500, it’s what you might call ‘reassuringly expensive.’ There’ll be a whopping options list allowing for extensive customisation, as well as the chance of punching that price beyond £300,000, we should think. First deliveries will kick off during the third quarter of 2019.