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Driven — Aston Martin DB11 Volante

Driven — Aston Martin DB11 Volante

Amit Benjamin 2 weeks ago
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Aston Martin DB11 Volante review: Since getting cosy with the Germans, Aston Martin has put Mercedes technology to excellent use and created a rather desirable drop-top with the new V8-engined DB11 Volante…

Even though you are blessed with the gift of sight, I will nonetheless point this out: the Aston Martin DB11 Volante is sensationally good looking. Roof up or down, you will never tire of ogling this thing.

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And it’s not just the exterior. The craftsmanship continues on the inside with premium wood, carbon and leather inserts everywhere you look. Aston Martin has put in real effort to make the cabin as refined as possible. The canvas folding top, for instance, features eight layers of fabric to quell wind and road noise, while all the door seals are properly put together with little in the way of wind noise, which was a prominent bugbear of previous generation Astons across the board. The DB11 Volante is surprisingly quiet inside for a convertible.

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The interior and infotainment system are much improved, but that second-rate screen still looks cheap compared to what Porsche, Bentley and the rest are doing…

The Volante is initially only available as a V8 and we are not complaining. This AMG-sourced turbocharged engine sounds incredible, and we’d argue it actually feels a touch more raucous and louder than the company’s force-fed V12. The DB11 Coupe is a great car to drive, however, the V8, despite the lack of a roof, feels more agile and changes direction with a touch more purpose. More on that later.

Naturally, the lack of a fixed top means the cabin is drowned in the wonderful V8 noise. The sense of drama alone, combined with the looks, is worth the asking price if you ask me.

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The turbocharged Mercedes-AMG sourced V8 engine under the long doesn’t mind heading towards 7,000rpm whenever the mood strikes you

More than that, this thing feels like a much prettier and better resolved version of the Mercedes-AMG GT. I’ve spent nearly two months with the AMG GT and while it’s a hoot to drive, there are some glaring problems. Cabin space is super tight and the ride isn’t the greatest in most settings. That is half the case with the Aston.

For a car this size, the interior is more crammed than you would expect and the rear seats are almost unusable. But going back to the Mercedes-Benz connection, the infotainment system and all the techy bits are no longer hit-and-miss. Yes, most of the switchgear looks a bit generic and reminds you of a Mercedes C-Class, but the Brits have spared no effort in making the interior feel special. You can tell where your money went in this Aston. Finally.

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That’s before you get to the driving. My gosh, this thing is stunning…It’s not finger-tippy like a Ferrari 488 but it’s extremely engaging. It’s kind of a mix between a brutish, overpowered AMG, and an exotic, but one that looks knee-quiveringly beautiful. It’s a multi-faceted car. On a cruise it is comfortable, but when you show it some corners the Volante seems unexpectedly urgent and enthusiastic. Yes, it is about 100kg heavier than the tin-top car, but you’d be hard pressed to tell. Combine this unprecedented agility with an engine that is not on first-name terms with turbo lag, put into the mix a beautiful design and eargasmic engine note and you have a car that is perhaps unlike anything else on the market.

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Zero to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds isn’t that impressive these days, but the DB11 Volante has more than one trick up its sleeve

A Ferrari is focussed. A Lamborghini is flamboyant. McLaren? Well, technical, but a bit try-hard. This Aston takes the best bits from all of the above and melds it into one deliciously harmonious whole. You have to drive one to understand the full extent of the DB11 Volante’s abilities and how it is more interesting more of the times than any of its rivals.  

It’s a wonderful, wonderful car. And if I didn’t mention it yet, it’s gorgeous.

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Aston Martin DB11 Volante
4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 | eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive | 503bhp at 6,000rpm and 675Nm at 2,000rpm | 0-100km/h in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 300km/h | starting from AED885,000, or about $240,000
Aston Martin DB11 Volante
8.5

Summary

It's heavier than the tin-top car and not quite as thrilling to drive as some of its rivals, but the new Aston Martin DB11 Volante strikes a great balance in performance and luxury that few others can match, with incredible looks to go with it...

Total Rating

8.5
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