If the V12 Vantage S seems a little old-fashioned to you, the carbon fibre-bodied Aston Martin Vanquish Volante should feel bang up to date.
The engine sounds great whatever car Aston puts it in, but the Volante gets the prize for the best exhaust note. Folding the triple-insulated roof takes only 14 seconds, and you’ll want to keep it down for as long as you can to hear the burbling low-speed note and howling full-throttle rush.
With a 4.1-second 0-62mph time – the same as the coupe’s – you get smoothly building acceleration rather than the brutal, overwhelming rush of, say, a McLaren 12C. There’s plenty of performance, but it feels accessible.
The supple ride reveals the Aston’s character to be more GT than hard-edged sports car. You can set the adaptive dampers to Sport or Track modes, but the Vanquish Volante feels at home on a gentle cruise, with the six-speed torque converter – much smoother than the V12 S’s box – gently shuffling the gears for you.
You’ll find refinement with the roof up or down is highly impressive. On the right road the Volante proves its performance car credentials, with perfectly responsive steering and huge amounts of grip. The taut body lacks much of the flex normally associated with soft-tops.
You probably won’t have much luck squeezing people into the back seats, but at least the boot is a usable 279 litres – whether the roof is up or down.
For your £200,000 you get a sumptuous cabin trimmed in luxurious leather. It feels worth the cash and there are heated seats, sat-nav and parking sensors thrown in.
However, the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante lives among rarified company, and having been blown away by the £150,000 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible, it’s tough to justify the Aston’s extra £50,000.