Aston Martin DBS Volante

British firm raises roof on its flagship DBS

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The DBS Coupé doesn’t lack character, yet this stunning drop-top version is out of this world! And with the roof down in the Volante, the V12 sounds even more magnificent. This is an intoxicating machine. Raise the cover, and it’s as comfortable and refined as the Coupé. Add amazing carbon brakes and great handling, and you have a brilliant sports car.

Is this the ultimate Aston Martin DBS? With its powered folding roof, the Volante is the pinnacle of the DBS range and, until the stunning One-77 arrives, the priciest Aston at nearly £170,000.

It looks expensive, with the fabric hood blending in beautifully, and the redesigned tonneau cover with its roll hoops is fantastic. When the top is stowed, you can hear every note of the 510bhp 6.0-litre V12, which emits a lovely bark. It also provides fearsome pace – 0-60mph takes the same 4.3 seconds as the Coupé.

Apart from some wobbles over bumps, the Volante feels solid. On a twisty road, it’s very agile, the well weighted steering offering plenty of feedback. The carbon brakes are superb, too. Adding to the experience is the optional paddleshift Touchtronic auto. Although jerky on downshifts, it is otherwise very smooth and lots of fun. As with the DBS, the ride is slightly floaty in normal mode, but a bit too hard in Sport. Apart from that, it’s one of the most desirable open-top cars in the world.

Rival: Ferrari California it’s not as pretty as the Aston, but the Italian’s 4.3-litre V8 and seven-speed auto work beautifully together.

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