A class-defining car of unmatched elegance and sporting character, DB12 Volante is the latest addition to Aston Martin’s illustrious tradition of high-performance convertibles. Timeless qualities of style and craftsmanship have been revitalised by advanced technologies and state-of-the-art engineering, while the driving experience has been honed to its keenest possible edge.
Aston Martin’s new DB12 Volante
Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Amedeo Felisa, said: “For many of our customers, roof down driving is the greatest pleasure. Aston Martin Volantes have captured that emotion and expressed it in unique style for more than six decades. With the new DB12 Volante we have changed the rules, creating a car that intensifies those feelings by preserving all the purity and exceptional sporting capabilities of the DB12 Coupe. A rare and true sporting convertible in every respect, this is a car to challenge preconceptions and find a new generation of Volante customer”.
Developed in parallel with its Coupe stablemate, DB12 Volante boasts the same game-changing design, engineering and technology advances made by this latest evolution of Aston Martin’s most distinguished nameplate. With class-leading power and performance and purebred sports car dynamics, it is a transformative evolution. One that unashamedly positions the DB12 Volante as a true driver’s car first and foremost.
The foundation of this focus on uncompromised performance and handling is the DB12’s exceptionally rigid bonded aluminium structure. Not only was this engineered to capably support the new level of dynamics on DB12 Coupe, but also to deliver the same unrivalled driving experience for DB12 Volante.
To match vehicle level capability, the focus was on the detail engineering and specification of all elements of the Volante’s underbody. Key structural elements, such as the rear suspension upper mounting points and lateral connections, as well as performance additions, including the engine cross brace, boost DB12 Volante global torsional stiffness by near 5%.
Of equal importance for vehicle integrity and dynamic performance, the mounting points for all suspension attachments were extensively upgraded laterally (140% on the front axle).
These changes, in line with the development of the DB12 Coupe, allowed the use of a non-isolated steering column and complementary steering and damper tuning to deliver precise on and off-centre steering connection with class-leading linearity of vehicle response.
Thanks to changes to underbody components, including the engine cross brace, DB12 Volante sees a 3.7% increase in global torsional stiffness, along with focussed improvement in lateral stiffness and gains in suspension performance and refinement. A non-isolated steering column and a stiffer front axle (+140%) contributes to improvements in on and off-centre steering feel and an overall sense of driver connection.
The Volante’s performance credentials speak for themselves. Best-in-class potency from its 4.0 Twin-Turbo V8 engine endows DB12 Volante with formidable performance and a fabulous soundtrack. Tuned by Aston Martin engineers to deliver class-leading 680PS/671bhp at 6000rpm and 800Nm/590lb ft between 2750-6000rpm, this exceptional hand-built engine features modified cam profiles, optimised compression ratios, larger turbos, and increased cooling to achieve an increase in output of 34% compared with the DB11. Accelerating from 0-60mph in 3.6 or 0-62mph in 3.7sec and powering on to a top speed of 202mph, the DB12 Volante’s performance is truly breathtaking.
Power is fed through a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, which like the DB12 Coupe, features a range of shift strategies complimenting each of the dynamic driving modes. The Volante also uses the same shortened Final Drive Ratio to maximise in-gear punch and Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff) for the perfect mix of agility when you want it and stability when you need it. With four-stage ESC and a choice of five pre-defined dynamic modes, the DB12 Volante allows the driver to precisely tailor its behaviour.
Other highlights include new generation intelligent adaptive dampers, which have a 500% increase in bandwidth of force distribution compared to previous generation hardware, giving the DB12 Volante a range of dynamic capability and character far in excess of class rivals. Indeed, the main difference between DB12 Coupe and Volante are detail revisions to rear spring rate and a dedicated damper tune.
Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) with a non-isolated steering column and constant 13.09:1 ratio rack has pure and uncorrupted feel with a swift but natural-feeling rate of response. Standard 21in forged alloy wheels are fitted with ‘AML’ coded Michelin Pilot S 5 tyres made to Aston Martin’s precise requirements. Braking is provided by cast-iron 400mm front discs and 360mm rear discs as standard, with an optional Carbon Ceramic Brake (CCB) system offering increased braking performance, reduced brake fade and a 27kg weight saving in unsprung mass.
Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer, Roberto Fedeli said of the new DB12 Volante: “Volante possesses all the Super Tourer traits so successfully introduced in the DB12 Coupe. That we have preserved this class-leading performance and handling is testament to the underlying brilliance of the DB12 platform and the work we have done to maintain the advantage of its superb powertrain and chassis in an open-top version. No longer the ‘softer’ option, DB12 Volante offers the stimulation of a true sports car with the unique pleasure and satisfaction that only a convertible Aston Martin can deliver.”
The result is a convertible car with an extraordinary breadth of capability. Intense performance and pinpoint handling to enthrall the most demanding driver, combined with the intoxicating pleasure of roof-down driving and supported by the very latest connected technology and spectacular surround sound audio system. Together they deliver a truly contemporary ownership experience. In providing the finest of all things, DB12 Volante exemplifies the new age of ultra-luxury.
Central to the Volante experience is its electrically-operated ‘K-fold’ roof. Named due to the two-stage folding procedure engineered to achieve a class-leading 260 mm stack height, this exceptional design combines brilliant packaging solutions with maximised luggage capacity, swift operation and stunning aesthetics.
Featuring 8 layers of insulation the fabric roof canopy is acoustically enhanced for improved interior cabin comfort. When raised, the beautifully sculpted roof line maintains the DB12’s immaculate profile. When lowered K-fold mechanism sits low beneath a hard tonneau cover to create a beautifully elegant tail.
The roof operation takes 14 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close and can be used at speeds of up to 31mph and into a 31mph headwind. For additional convenience and pleasing theatre, the roof mechanism can be operated via the remote keys*, as long as you are within a two-metre radius of the car.
There are four different exterior hood colours to choose from. Black is standard, with a choice of Red, Blue and ‘Black and Silver’ as options. This palette allows for a wide variety of customisation and to ensure there’s a shade to compliment the near-endless choice of body and interior colours.
Visually the DB12 Volante puts its own unforgettable spin on the Coupe’s bold and assertive exterior design. Exploiting the lowline packaging made possible by the brilliant K-Fold roof mechanism, the Aston Martin design team have achieved a sleek and athletic form that looks sensational with the roof raised or lowered. The taut fabric hood lends the Volante a distinctive look denied to convertibles equipped with folding metal roofs. Once lowered and concealed beneath the sculpted hard tonneau the Volante plays its trump card, the sleek uninterrupted beltline giving a tantalizing glimpse of the opulent interior and culminating in a lithe and muscular tail that puts the lumpen efforts of package-compromised rivals to shame.
High-performance and high-style are intrinsic to the DB12 Volante, but so too is exceptional comfort, quality and craftsmanship. One delightful detail distinguishes the Volante interior differs from its Coupe counterpart; wood veneer or carbon fibre panels on the seatbacks matched to the door trim inlay to create an extra layer of visual interest and luxury when the roof is lowered.
This ultra-luxury environment delivers an all-encompassing experience for both driver and passengers throughout. Clean, contemporary design and the finest materials create a look and feel unique to Aston Martin, with the DB12’s bespoke infotainment, Bowers & Wilkins surround sound hi-fi and HMI systems immersing occupants in a fully connected state-of-the-art experience.
The DB12 range is the first to receive Aston Martin’s next-generation infotainment system. Entirely bespoke and developed from scratch with industry leading suppliers of hardware, UI, UX and audio systems, it is Aston Martin’s first in-house system. It also supplemented by a new Aston Martin customer connectivity app. Developed for iOS and Android it allows interaction, control and feedback to and from the customer’s DB12 via their personal device.
The new system is a fully integrated multi-screen system with full online connectivity and displayed using 10.25” Pure Black touchscreen technology with full capacitive single and multi-finger gesture control. Understanding the need for balance between touchscreen commands and the positive tactility of physical switches, buttons are retained for the key mechanical operations of gear selection, drive selection, heating and ventilation. There are also override switches for Chassis, ESP and Exhaust, Lane Assist and Park Distance Control, ensuring the most used controls are always conveniently to hand.
The all-new navigation system for DB12 features online connectivity for a smarter, quicker and more informative experience. The new 3D mapping gives intuitive, clear instruction with lane guidance and real time traffic overlays. Connected dynamic routing avoids unnecessary delays and satellite view is available for those who like to see details, dynamically downloaded to visualise the surrounding area as you drive. And for pinpoint accuracy anywhere in the world, DB12’s navigation system and the new Aston Martin connected app feature WHAT3WORDS destination input. With Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, occupants can also access their device applications seamlessly.
The DB12 Volante also offers a new experience in listening enjoyment thanks to Aston Martin’s new audio partners, Bowers & Wilkins. The standard-fitment 390w 11 speaker audio system offers a Surround sound mode and employs QuantumLogic® sound processing to create a soundscape and audio performance designed to match DB12 perfectly. For true audiophiles Aston Martin has developed an optional halo system taking technologies and innovations found in Bowers & Wilkins’ world-class domestic hi-fi.
Acoustically engineered for the DB12 interior volume and shape, this 15-speaker, double amplified 1,170W surround sound system features high-performance loudspeakers such as Aluminium Double Dome tweeters and Continuum® midrange speakers together with dedicated 3D headline speakers and a powerful subwoofer to immerse occupants in their favourite music.
Marek Reichman, Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, said: “Creating open-air performance machines for drivers has always held a special place in hearts across Aston Martin, dating back to 1965, with our introduction of the first Volante model, the legendary Short Chassis. It has been, and always will be, a design beacon for us.
“The new DB12 Volante is again another emotional Aston Martin design form with a desire to be driven. We’ve sculpted a graceful, muscular exterior shape that reflects its immense capabilities, set atop very advanced structural elements, with a clean, contemporary interior. Crafted through performance design for those who share our joy and happiness for adventuring in cars in the open air, new DB12 Volante is certainly exhilarating to experience and one that adds to our distinctive history.”
Q by Aston Martin; the ultra-luxury personalisation service allows those who wish to put their own stamp on the DB12 Volante. By accessing the skills of Q’s designers and crafts people, customers enjoy a one-off personal commissioning journey that can encompass everything from a single small distinguishing detail to full-scale engineering and production of entirely bespoke components. With Q by Aston Martin on-hand to realise a customer’s vision for their ultimate DB12 Volante, the sky really is the limit.
DB12 Volante will make its global debut at Monterey Car Week in California this week, first seen on display at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering on Friday, and at the exclusive clubhouse Aston Martin Club 1913 at Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance over the weekend.
Production of DB12 Volante is due to commence in Q3 of 2023, with first deliveries scheduled to begin during Q4 2023.