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Aston Martin DBS Volante - Web Exclusive

Feb 24, 2009
Eurp_0902_01_z+aston_martin_dbs_volante+rear_side_view Photo 1/2   |   Aston Martin DBS Volante - Web Exclusive

Aston Martin will premiere the DBS Volante at the Geneva Auto Salon. Completing the DBS line-up, the new Volante will afford customers the combination of DBS characteristics with the thrill of open-air motoring.

Featuring a motorized fabric roof, the beautiful profile of the DBS is preserved whether up or down.

Conceived as a Volante from the outset, Aston Martin engineers opted for a fabric hood to closely follow the silhouette of the DBS coupe and, due to its lightweight properties, minimize overall weight gain. Fully retractable in only 14 seconds at up to speeds of 30mph, the roof will automatically stow under the tonneau.

Power is provided by Aston Martin's hand-built alloy 6.0-liter V12 engine producing 510hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, with a top speed of 191mph and 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds.

Aston Martin's 16th convertible in 95 years, the DBS Volante draws on the marque's extensive experience in designing iconic `Volantes' and is a 2+2 featuring two occasional rear seats, ideal for young people or extra luggage.

In standard specification, the DBS has a rear-mounted six-speed manual transmission, while an automatic six-speed `Touchtronic' option is also available. As with the coupe, the Volante is offered with carbon-ceramic brakes as standard, providing exceptional stopping power. Benefiting from materials derived from motorsport and aerospace industries, the hood, front fenders and trunk lid are made from carbon fiber to reduce weight.

The DBS Volante also comes with Bang & Olufsen's renowned `BeoSound DBS' in-car entertainment system, featuring 13 speakers as standard equipment. The BeoSound DBS has been expertly tuned by Bang & Olufsen's Tonmeisters and Aston Martin's acoustic engineers specifically for the Volante, resulting in a system that senses when the roof has been retracted and adjusts the sound stage to compensate for wind noise, providing an unrivalled automotive audio experience.

The new hood opens in 14 seconds thanks to a five-piston hydraulic pump. The roof effortlessly stows below the tonneau cover which has been redesigned to enhance the muscular attributes of the DBS Volante. Housing the Roll-Over-Protection-System (ROPS), which deploys two roll bars in the event of the car rolling over, the rear humps lead your eye to the new carbon fiber deck lid which has been re-styled for the DBS Volante.

As with the DBS Coupe, the hood, front fenders and trunk lid are formed from carbon fiber. Preventing the weave protruding through the paint finish, Aston Martin employs a patented `surface veil' technology applying a 200 micron thick layer of epoxy glue to the carbon fiber, before the application of seven layers of paint producing a class A finish.

The interior of the DBS represents the epitome of Aston Martin's commitment to using materials honestly, without disguise or embellishment. Lightweight materials are used throughout to save weight; door pulls are made from carbon fiber, for example, and the carpet has been woven with lighter fibers to save valuable pounds.

As with the coupe, the Volante affords customers the prospect of specifying the optional ten-spoke 20'' forged aluminum lightweight wheel with diamond-turned surface - available in either silver or graphite finishes. With an overall unsprung mass reduction of 17.6 lb, the option enhances handling, improves acceleration and braking performance.

Eurp_0902_02_z+aston_martin_dbs_volante+front_side_view Photo 2/2   |   Aston Martin DBS Volante - Web Exclusive

Attachment 3: Performance

The DBS Volante's 6.0-litre V12 produces 420 lb ft of torque at 5750rpm, and yet the `flat' torque curve provides 85% of that torque from 1500rpm.The 3.71:1 (manual) and 3.46:1 (Touchtronic) final-drive ratio assures that all the Volante's power is useable, while also enhancing in-gear acceleration.Adding to the sonorous V12 enhances the aural soundtrack. Special by-pass valves in the exhaust allow a quieter exhaust note at low speeds; at 4000rpm these open to reduce the pressure in the exhaust system, raising the power output as well as generating aural accompaniment.

Contributing to the class-leading levels of rigidity, the VH-platform (Vertical - Horizontal) upon which all Aston Martins are founded, ensures a dynamically accomplished convertible, translating into an exciting and communicative chassis. The VH architecture is a bonded aluminum structure that provides outstanding strength and rigidity. In comparison to its coupe sibling, the Volante retains 75% of the rigidity by rigidly mounting the rear subframe and optimizing the front and rear shear panels. Working together, these components contribute to more than 20% of the torsional rigidity.

Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes are featured as standard. Providing shorter stopping distances with excellent resistance to fade in even the most demanding driving conditions, the CCM brakes are some 27.5 lb lighter than a conventional system. This results in reducing the overall weight of the car and, in particular, the unsprung weight and rotational masses, further enhancing the DBS Volante's dynamics.

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