Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Aston Martin offers carbon-fibre convertible

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2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante.

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2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante.

It's the first carbon-fibre-bodied convertible in Aston Martin's history and, like the coupe on which it is based, the Vanquish Volante is the ultimate expression of the famed English marque's latest technology. The Volante may have lost its roof, but not its moxie.

With the same 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque as the Vanquish coupe, the top speed is also the same -- 293 kilometres an hour. And, at 4.0 seconds, it's just as quick to 96 km/h (60 miles per hour).

It's also almost as fast at dropping its top: 14 seconds is all that's required for the Volante to go pas de toit (and will do so at speeds up to 50 km/h).

Thanks to underskin reinforcements to the aluminum VH4 chassis, Aston's latest Volante is 13 per cent stiffer than the droptop DBS it replaces. It also retains the coupe's near ideal 51:49 front-to-rear weight distribution.

And like the coupe, the Volante features Aston's ADS Adaptive Damping System that allows one car to offer both touring comfort and a fully optimized track mode. Carbon ceramic brakes with multi-piston calipers ensure that the Volante stops as well as it accelerates.

Like the coupe, the Volante version of the Vanquish forgoes some of Aston's typically understated styling, the switch to the carbon fibre body as much a result of the hand-laid glass' ability to form complex shapes as its incredible strength-to-weight ratio. It allows the Vanquish's unique rear airfoil, pronounced rear haunches and the dramatic strake the lower end of the each door.

"This is not simply a great-looking car," says Aston CEO, Ulrich Bez,

"This is a great car engineered and crafted for the connoisseur by people dedicated to delivering exceptional sports cars with clearly defined characters."

Aston's premium product does not come cheap, however.

Vanquish Volantes will start at $315,200.

-- Postmedia Network Inc. 2013

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 18, 2013 F5

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