So said Amedeo Felisa, the CEO of Aston Martin, after introducing the company’s latest convertible – the beautiful two-door DB12 Volante.
They’ve called it a “super tourer”, as it’s designed to combine the performance of a high-end sports car with the grand-touring capabilities of a traditional Aston Martin.
‘Volante’ is the Italian word for ‘flying’, and when you see this sleek machine at full throttle, you understand why. Thanks to its 4.0 twin-turbo V8 engine, it can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 3.6 seconds, powering on to a top speed of 202mph. And any bumps in the road are soaked up thanks to the double wishbone suspension.
For the first time in an Aston Martin GT model, an automatic ZF eight-speed transmission comes twinned with an electronic limited slip rear differential. Add to this the carbon-ceramic brakes (400mm at the front, 360mm at the rear) and the 21-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport S 5 tyres, which, as Aston Martin explains, are “wrapped in a hand-spun compound for super grip to reject every drop of rain and inspire smoothness from every turn of tread”.
Meanwhile, electric power-assisted steering with a non-isolated steering column gives drivers a “pure and uncorrupted feel with a swift but natural-feeling rate of response”.
Unveiled for the first time at Monterey Car Week, in California in August, one of the DB12’s most impressive features is its folding roof. Known as a K-fold roof, it takes just 14 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close, and can be operated while driving at speeds up to 35mph. Eight layers of insulation keep passengers protected from the elements and exterior traffic noise.
There are four different hood colours to choose from – black, red, blue and black-silver. When raised, the line of the roof maintains the DB12’s sleek profile, and when lowered the roof mechanism sits beneath a hard tonneau cover to create a beautifully elegant tail, with room for luggage. Rather neatly, drivers can also operate the roof using the remote-controlled keys, provided they’re within two metres of the car.
Inside the DB12, wood veneer or carbon fibre panels on the seatbacks match the door trim inlay. But perhaps most impressive of all is the bespoke infotainment system, accessed via a 10.25-inch high-resolution touchscreen – so responsive it reacts within just 30 milliseconds. In addition, there’s a superb Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound audio system, offering the very best in in-car music. Supplementing all this is a customer connectivity app – for iOS or Android – allowing drivers to interact via smartphone.
The all-new navigation system for the DB12 features 3D mapping, with clear instruction, lane guidance and real-time traffic overlays. Connected routing ensures drivers avoid unnecessary delays. Meanwhile a geolocation system called What3words allows drivers to pinpoint any location on the surface of the Earth with accuracy down to three metres.
Acoustically engineered for the DB12’s interior volume and shape, the Bowers & Wilkins stereo system features 15 high-performance speakers and a powerful subwoofer – immersing driver and passenger in whatever music they choose to play.
For customers who wish to add their own personal stamp to the DB12, Aston Martin offers a custom service called Q by Aston Martin. The designers from Q will help owners personalise anything from small distinguishing details to entirely bespoke components or full-scale engineering adaptations.
Marek Reichman is chief creative officer at Aston Martin. He sums up the new model as follows: “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,” he explained. “It has been, and always will be, a design beacon for us.
“The new DB12 Volante is 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 exhilarating to experience, adding to our distinctive history.”
Production of DB12 Volante is starting in late 2023, with first deliveries scheduled by the end of the year.