Aston Martin DB11 Volante – Mini Test
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
Every year the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders holds a Media Drive Day at Millbrook Proving Ground. It is always a great day, a chance to catch up with fellow journalists and industry PRs. Of course the main reason to go is to drive cars and with so many new models coming to market each month, there are plenty to choose from.
One of the cars on my hit list at this year’s event was Aston Martin’s stunning DB11 Volante, newly launched and with customer deliveries just beginning.
Joining the Coupe, which arrived to critical acclaim last year, the Volante is perhaps even more elegant and desirable.
Power comes from a silky smooth and sonorous 510PS 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 engine and this is mated to an eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. Expect the Aston to sprint to 62mph from rest in around four seconds and finally run out of puff somewhere north of 170mph.
Helping to put the power down cleanly is a limited-slip differential with dynamic torque vectoring. Added to this are the Volante’s 3-stage powertrain and chassis modes, which will allow the driver to configure the car’s responses according to road conditions, the weather or their mood.
Aston Martin has gone out of their way to ensure that the DB11 Volante can be enjoyed roof down all year round. The eight layer fabric roof can be stowed away in just 14 seconds and at speeds up to 31mph. No excuse not to drop the top when the sun bursts through...
Exhaustive tests have been conducted to the roof mechanism to ensure that it will shrug off the very worst weather conditions.
So what of the driving experience? At this point I must add that I only had half an hour behind the wheel and that Millbrook’s overly enthusiastic marshalls get rather over excited if you exceed the 55mph speed limit set for the hill test route.
Sliding down into the sumptuous leather driver’s seat, it is hard not to be taken in by the hand-crafted interior. The finest materials have been used, not unexpectedly, and there is plenty of scope for personalisation.
The driving position is spot on, with plenty of adjustment for taller drivers. Press the starter button and the V8 engine roars into life, hinting at the driving pleasure to come.
With time short, drive was engaged and soon I was lapping the course at somewhere close to the posted speed limit!
I suspect the DB11 was the fastest car on the route and all too easily I caught up with slower test cars, many of them being driven in a somewhat spirited manner, yet unable to shake off Aston’s finest.
I had left the DB11 in comfort mode and was suitably cosseted and enthused by the experience.
All too soon I had to return the car to its maker and I had barely stopped before the next eager journalist was soon on their way.
I am hopeful for more time with the car later in the year and will then be in a position to offer a more in depth review of the driving experience.
In the meantime, if you have £159,900 burning a hole in your pocket, pop down to your local dealer and take a test drive. Unlike a certain secret agent’s Martini, I think you’ll find the experience will leave you stirred and not shaken!
Fast Facts (as tested)
Aston Martin DB11 Volante
510PS 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine
Eight-speed automatic gearbox
0-62mph in around 4 seconds
Combined economy 28.3mpg
Emissions 230g/km CO2
List price £159,900 (with options £183,215)
Pearl Blond AML Special Paint (£3,495)
Blue Haze Special Leather (£3,495)
Aston Martin’s President and CEO Andy Palmer sums up the DB11 Volante:
“For many of our customers, indeed many generations of Aston martin customer, the Volante has always offered something very special: a unique combination of elegant style, innate sporting ability and sensory engagement that lifts it above other open-top cars.
The new DB11 captures those qualities perfectly and promises the kind of pleasure and enjoyment that can only come from driving an open-top Aston Martin.”
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Aston Martin DB11 Volante – Mini Test, 1st June 2018, 7:11 AM