Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

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“Vanquish Volante is a sports car, but more even than that it is the ultimate Volante. A car which follows a long line of elegant Aston Martin convertibles, this super GT is sculpted to convey sophistication as much as raw power.”
Aston Martin Director of Design – Marek Reichman

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The Aston Martin Vanquish Volante is a contemporary 2+2 sports coupe that is not only the ultimate convertible, but the ultimate grand tourer. It will be introduced at the Pebble Beach Concours d’elegance August 2013. There could also be a two-seat version of the Volante in the making which I think is more appropriate, the back seat of the 2+2 didn’t have people over 6’ tall in mind when they designed it.

This seductive beauty is hand crafted and sculpted out of carbon fibre. It is the first Volante to use this technology. It sits upon a new generation aluminium and carbon fibre VH structure. From its single bi-xenon headlamps with LED sidelights swept back to the ONE-77 influenced LED light blade rear tail lamps and LED side repeaters, the Vanquish Volante is a showcase of Aston Martin’s cutting edge technology. Aston Martin makes some of the most beautiful automobiles in the world and the Vanquish Volante is no exception. It is one the most technologically innovative Aston Martins ever made. Prices start between $297,995 & $300,820.Image

ImageThe Vanquish Volante is engineered to be a convertible. There is more to a rag-top than simply snipping the roof off of a hardtop coupe. There must be a network of structural integrity at work lowering the car’s center of gravity and providing a rigid platform. Aston Martin did just that and more.Image

From a concern for safety, side curtain airbags are mounted discreetly into the upper door trim. The patent Aston Martin “Rollover Protection System” deploy hidden roll bars behind the rear most head restraints, which removes the tonneau trim cover shattering the rear screen to protect the occupants in an accident. This is proof that Aston Martin goes to extremes with their intense testing of convertible engineering.Image

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More Aston Martin technology you say? The Vanquish Volante’s three layered fabric roof folds in 14 seconds and can be done while the vehicle is moving at up to 30 mph. Aston Martin’s advanced material engineering yields a convertible top with something extra.

The multi-layer roof fabric has rubber for noise reduction, an acrylic twill and polyester lining with a middle Thinsulate interlayer to aid in heat retention. The headlining is made from Rokona and is an integral part of the cabin. There’s nothing exposed to reveal its convertible attributes, it simply resembles a luxury coupe inside with the top up.Image

That beautiful body is constructed with advanced aerospace standard carbon fiber which saves weight and helps achieve that gorgeous body’s shape and integral structure. The Vanquish Volante is ‘cloaked’ in a suit of carbon. The body is cast in aluminium, magnesium alloy and carbon fibre. Its doors are extruded aluminium with side impact beams.Image

The use of this technology is inspired from the carbon fibre of Aston Martin’s GT race-car program. This type of styling simplicity, without the unnecessary body panels allows unbroken body lines to improve aerodynamics. There is 50% more boot space from the use of carbon fibre rear panels that minimize weight outside the wheelbase to increase agility. Image

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The foundation for the Vanquish Volante is the latest Gen4 evolution of the VH architecture, aluminium with carbon fibre makes a light but rigid core. The rear subframe spreads the load evenly through the structure. This re-engineered VH structure is 14% stiffer than the DBS Volante. It uses a thicker sill gauge, new engine bay struts managing the front load with a hollow aluminium subframe that reduces weight by 10%.

Up front, there’s an independent double wishbone suspension with anti-dive geometry, coil springs, and anti-roll bar. The rear has a similar set-up, independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar. The front and rear monotube Adaptive Damping System (ADS) has three modes: normal, sport, and track to select the ride quality.

The front mid engine mount and the rear transaxle layout contribute to a near perfect 51:49 weight distribution which adds to the car’s overall performance. The speed sensitive electronically controlled rack and pinion steering adjusts to your driving style anonymously.Image

Vanquish Volante is powered by an all alloy 48-valve 6 litre V12 with independent Quad Variable Camshaft timing. This lightweight engine produces 565 bhp @ 6,750 rpm with 620 Nm in torque @ 5,500 rpm. This AM11 V12 sprints from 0-60 in 4.1 seconds maintaining the agility of the Vanquish coupe. It uses a fully catalyzed stainless steel exhaust with active by-pass valves and six three-way catalytic converters.

This is the quickest Volante ever produced. Its top speed is 183 mph. It is matched to a rear-mid mounted six speed TOUCHTRONIC2 automatic/sequential manual gearbox. Volante uses an alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft with a limited slip differential.Image

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A Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) braking system is utilized. The front is fitted with ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 398mm diameter damper with six piston calipers. The rear gets 360mm diameter ventilated carbon ceramic discs with four piston calipers.Image

To continue to brag about Aston Martin’s technology, let’s look at their “Launch Control.” This sophisticated system utilizes an electronic accelerator and a computer program. The software controls acceleration based upon engine specifications to make the car accelerate smoothly and as quickly as possible; avoiding spinning the drive  wheels, failure due to over-revving, and clutch & gearbox problems. This feature may only be activated when the vehicle is stationary. After the Vanquish Volante is “off like a shot” at a certain speed, this software disengages itself.Image

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is part of an elite network operated via engine power reduction, ABS and Traction Control measures steering wheel angle, yaw rate and wheel speed. Yaw is the vehicle’s rotation around its vertical center of gravity by turning left or right.  A car this powerful needs a stabilizing system such as this to maintain poise at higher speeds.

This is a component in the Aston Martin Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). The EBD is a subsystem of the ABS to control the effect adhesion utilization by the rear wheels. This is Twenty-first century automobile braking technology that automatically varies the amount of force applied to each of the vehicle’s brakes. This system’s actions are contingent upon road conditions, speed and vehicle load. This system applies more or less braking pressure to each wheel to maintain that “Aston Martin poise.”

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Modern ABS systems use four individual brake lines thus, each wheel gets different braking pressure on different road surfaces. For example, if the left wheels are on ice and the right wheels are on asphalt, the sensors detect this and send less braking force to the left wheels to maintain control avoiding wheel lock up.

Each wheel is individually controlled electronically; these sensors are so sensitive that the system will correct the issue before the driver can even react! If the sensors detect an under steer or an over steer, it automatically applies one of the front or rear brakes to counter the action getting the car back on-track….this is Aston Martin’s Electronic Stability Control in action.

The Anti-lock brakes preventing wheel lock-ups and EBD calibrating brake force makes the ESC work efficiently, seamlessly and effectively. Aston Martin also offers the security and peace of mind of the Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Positive Torque Control (PTC) and Traction Control for improved road holding and enhanced performance. All of these safety precautions are part of the convertible’s engineering excellence.

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Vanquish Volante’s cabin is a sumptuous paradise of sporting luxury. You are surrounded with Luxmil leather and Alcantara trim. The most striking feature is the ONE-77 inspired center stack that groups instruments logically. The user interface boasts a simple ergonomically efficient layout with technological updates.

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This is one of the world’s most advanced in-car systems in existence. Aston Martin became among the first of the ultra-luxury brands to use Haptic feedback, which is normally a touch screen system for cellular phones. Haptics are any form of non-verbal communication. The Haptic technology interfaces with the user through the sense of touch.

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For your musical entertainment, a 1000 watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system automatically monitors and adapts to deliver perfect sound. The system can also monitor and adapt based on open-roof conditions as well. This perfect sound is delivered through 13 speakers. Each speaker is enclosed in an air tight cabinet reducing interference and delivering sharp precise sounds. Acoustic Lens Tweeters (ALT) has integrated reflective surfaces to send sound horizontally through the cabin. The cabin’s door speakers are integrated with rubber to remove door vibration, each ALT rises smoothly when the system is activated.Image

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More Aston Martin technology you say? The Vanquish Volante’s three layered fabric roof folds in 14 seconds and can be done while the vehicle is moving at up to 30 mph. Aston Martin’s advanced material engineering yields a convertible top with something extra.

The multi-layer roof fabric has rubber for noise reduction, an acrylic twill and polyester lining with a middle Thinsulate interlayer to aid in heat retention. The headlining is made from Rokona and is an integral part of the cabin. There’s nothing exposed to reveal its convertible attributes, it simply resembles a luxury coupe inside with the top up.Image

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Driving an Aston Martin is a grand experience, but driving the Vanquish Volante is an ethereal experience. Aston Martin’s approach to building motor cars requires the best that brain, hand and eye can create….the Aston Martin philosophy: “There is only one way….the right way……” Aston Martin has a history of over 100 years of strikingly individual cars, now, shaped aerodynamically for today, and they have lived up to their reputation for designing and building the most beautiful automobiles in the world. Image

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One Response to “Aston Martin Vanquish Volante”

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