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2019 Vanquish S Volante

Aston Martin's flagship, the Vanquish S Volante, is a high-performance grand touring convertible that exudes classy British charm and exquisite craftsmanship. While it isn't as quick or cutting-edge as many of its rivals, the Volante's timeless good looks and impeccably furnished cabin should prove appealing to buyers who prioritize style and comfort over outright speed.

Notably, the Vanquish S is also available in fixed-roof coupe form.


With its powerful stance, elegant proportions and trademark Aston Martin grille, the Vanquish S Volante represents a careful evolution of its DBS predecessor's styling. Much of the rest of the car is also directly derived from the DBS, including its lightweight aluminum VH platform and 5.9-liter V12 motor.

That's not to say that there's nothing notably new about the Vanquish S Volante - unlike the DBS, its body is completely built from carbon fiber, helping to improve torsional rigidity by 25 percent. The carbon construction also shaves 150 pounds from the convertible's curb weight, although it still checks in at over 4,000 lbs.

A central part of Aston's brand identity since its introduction back in 2000, the V12 has also been upgraded since it resided in the DBS' engine bay. In the Vanquish S Volate, it gains a number of upgrades - including variable valve timing on both cams, a revised intake manifold and larger throttle bodies. It now produces 567 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, figures that are impressive in isolation but significantly behind what some competitors offer. Still, when given cane, the big twelve delivers a melodious mechanical roar that must be heard to be appreciated and adds an impressive element of drama to the driving experience.

The only available transmission is an eight-speed automatic that swaps ratios smoothly and delivers precise rev-matched downshifts. It sends power to the rear wheels via a carbon fiber driveshaft and includes a launch control mode - an Aston Martin first - that helps facilitate zero-to-60 mph sprints of roughly 3.6 seconds. Top speed is quoted at about 201 mph.

Bringing the Vanquish S Volante to a halt are ventilated carbon ceramic brakes, sized at 15.7 inches and squeezed by six-piston callipers up front and 14.2-inch discs with four-piston callipers in the back. The car rides on 20-inch wheels, with 255mm wide Pirelli P-Zeros up front and 305mm wide contact patches in the back.

Complementing the Vanquish S Volante dual aluminum control arm suspension are electronically adjustable Active Damping System that offers a choice of Normal, Sport and Track modes. Normal provides sports car-levels of body control along with a stiff but quite livable ride, while Sport firms things up even more and Track is really only suitable for race courses.

Overall, the Vanquish S Volante is surprisingly agile considering its size, but still more of a relaxed grand tourer in character - notwithstanding the bellicose-sounding V12. Its chassis lends itself well to driving long distances in comfort, as does...

Cushy cabin

...the richly appointed cabin, which coddles with acres of supple leather upholstery that contains no less than one million stitches, according to Aston. A flowing center stack houses user-friendly haptic feedback clusters that control the entertainment and climate control systems, and a simple but graceful three-spoke steering wheel sits in front of the understated four-gauge analog instrument cluster.

Befitting a car that starts just below $300,000, the Vanquish S Volante come standard with a 1,000-watt, 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, mobile WiFi, heated front seats and a navigation system with a 6.5-inch pop-up screen. Unfortunately, the nav unit is hopeless dated even by economy car standards.

There's plenty of space for driver and passenger alike up front, while the rear cabin area can be fitted with a pair of almost conically tiny seats or a cargo shelf. The trunk can swallow 13 cubic inches of cargo, an impressive amount for such an exotic vehicle - especially a convertible.

The Vanquish S Volante is equipped with a triple-skin lightweight fabric roof that can be operated at speeds of up to 30 mph. It takes 14 seconds to fold, stowing away neatly beneath a tonneau.

Highlights from the options list include ventilated front seats, carbon fiber exterior trim and several interior trim treatments. As with other Aston Martin models, the Vanquish S Volante can be further customized through the company's "Q by Aston Martin" service.

Occupant safety

All Vanquish S Volante models come standard with dual front and front side in addition to traction and stability control systems.

Key competitors

As buyers considering the Vanquish S Volante are likely more interested in style and luxury than neck-snapping performance, comparable alternatives include the Bentley Continental GTC and the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible. Those in a hurry can also opt for the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet.