The 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante is Topless and Indecent (In a Good Way)
Photos courtesy of Aston Martin
It was only a matter of time before Aston Martin chopped off the roof of its new Vanquish GT for a Volante version, and the British automaker will start selling the convertible just in time for…winter. Huh. Aston’s decision to go for a soft top instead of the more in vogue folding hard top reduces its everyday usability, especially in the colder, snowier months. Seeing as how Astons usually fit in a garage next to several more normal cars, limited usability for the Volante’s first customers won’t be much of a problem, but not being able to use a sports car you just paid $300,000 for seems like a bit of a letdown. Better buy the hardtop too, I suppose.
Like in the standard car, the Vanquish Volante packs a 6.0L V12 under its gorgeous hood. Despite using an extensive amount of carbon fiber in the body, the Volante’s 565hp has to move an additional 230lbs, according to Pistonheads (an official weight figure was not given in the press release). The extra weight gained by adding all the mechanical bits necessary for convertibles doesn’t seem to have affected the 4.1 second 0-60mph drag time, and a top speed of 183mph is identical to the fully clothed Vanquish.
The Vanquish Volante will be the first carbon fiber-skinned convertible in the brand’s history, as well as its stiffest (Aston kindly reminds you of the carbon fiber components no less than six times in the Volante’s press release). Extra engineering went into making sure the roofless wonder didn’t flex too much, and as a result, the Vanquish Volante is 14% stiffer than its predecessor.
The rest of the car is normal Vanquish stuff, like the weird push button transmission and (thankfully optional) quilted seats. Aston has strangely not provided a rear view of the car with the roof up, leading me to wonder about the Volante’s rear visibility when the driver doesn’t feel like connecting with the elements. Indeed, the rear pillars look pretty thick from the side view.
Starting at $297,995, the Volante costs nearly $20,000 more than the standard Vanquish, and that’s going to be tough to swallow. The Volante doesn’t really have any competitors at this price point, as GT convertibles like the Maserati GranTurismo and Bentley GTC are far less expensive, and sportier cars like the Ferrari 458 Spider and McLaren MP4-12C Spider are both less expensive and more powerful. While I like Aston Martins a hell of a lot, for $300,000 a car must pretty much be perfect, and I just don’t see the Volante being super competitive. The time might be right to buy one in 2 years, when the resale value is most likely halved.