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Aston Martin DB9 Volante

Raft of changes makes open-air super Brit even more desirable

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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It’s taken Aston a while to get the DB9 right – but this updated Volante version is the best yet. As ever, it’s full of character, thanks to a hand-crafted cabin, wailing V12 engine and arresting looks. But the adaptive damping system adds depth, allowing this drop-top to ride comfortably and offer stunning responses. It all adds up to an even more alluring Aston.

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THE Freelander isn’t the only British car to have gone under the knife. Aston Martin’s DB9 Volante has been revised, too.

We drove the tweaked Coupé version in Issue 1,122, and now the firm has added some mild visual changes to the drop-top, plus a new fabric roof lining and Bilstein adaptive dampers.

So, is this the best DB9 Volante yet?

Well, the new dampers considerably improve the way the big Aston behaves. The system is the same as that used by the DBS, and constantly monitors road conditions to provide the best balance between body control and ride comfort. Two modes are available. Normal offers a soft-edged ride that allows the car to float a little over bumps, while Sport is noticeably harder and sharpens up responses.

The set-up is still not as good as the system in Ferrari’s California – the rear end could feel more planted at speed on really bumpy roads. But this DB9 now handles like a true sports car yet rides well, too.

Smooth, accurate steering adds to the enjoyment, while the new Thinsulate rooflining makes the car quieter with the top in place. The hood itself is beautifully engineered, stowing away gracefully behind the rear seats. With it folded, you can hear every note of the fabulous 470bhp 6.0-litre V12 engine, which provides storming pace, too. It works brilliantly with our car’s optional Touchtronic six-speed automatic gearbox, with rapid shifts in Drive mode and snappy responses from the steering wheel paddles.

The visual updates are best described as minimal, with a new bumper and mesh grille, revised headlights, modified side skirts and clear tail-lamp lenses. Our only real criticisms concern the Volvo switchgear and negligible rear seat space.

The DB9 Volante has always been one of the most desirable Astons. Now, it has a driving experience to match.

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