Aston Martin DB12 Volante

Aston Martin DB12 Volante: A portrait of the 680PS diva from England

Thursday, 16. May 2024 | Benedikt Lüchinger

Presented in mid-2023 and now finally on the road: we were able to test drive the new Aston Martin DB12 Volante and add it to our fleet. What can the super tourer with 680 hp and an incredibly sleek design do? Find out more in the latest ES Magazine article.

Making a perfect Grand Tourer is a delicate art. You need to add just enough performance to make things exciting and balance it with just enough comfort. Give it sharp handling, but avoid harsh rides. Cover it with the seductive body with a reasonable amount of luggage space and an aerodynamic package that makes it stable at Autobahn speeds. Fill it with the latest features, elegant design details, and premium materials, and call it a day. Aston Martin is one of the rare companies that used this recipe for decades and perfected it over numerous gorgeous and sought-after models. The latest in this long line of bespoke Grand Tourers is the fantastic DB12, introduced in late 2023. However, Aston’s customers are used to having a choice of an open-top model, and very soon, the elegant DB12 Volante was presented. Some critics say a soft top ruins the GT experience, but others claim it improves it. So, let’s see who is right.

Super Tourer

Although the DB12 Coupe and Volante are the typical Grand Tourers, Aston is unsatisfied with this term. Instead, it promotes a new designation – Super Tourer. Due to these models’ increased power, performance, and capabilities, we see that Aston might be right.

Design

Even though the DB12 is considered a next-gen Aston GT model, it is heavily based on the outgoing DB11 with numerous design, interior, and mechanics improvements. It follows the classic GT form of the long hood and short rear end with swooping lines and elegant curves. A massive grille with the new Aston logo dominates the front end, while C-shaped rear lights are aggressive but smooth. Even though the DB11 and DB12 look very similar, none of the body panels are interchangeable, and Aston claims that DB12 is 80% new. The Volante version is, of course, equipped with an automatic folding roof, and designers didn’t just remove the hard top; the convertible model is designed to be as elegant with a roof mechanism neatly hiding behind the seats without interrupting the lines of the car.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante Design

Engine

The Aston’s sublime V12 units are reserved for the DBS model, which means that the DB12 Volante has a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 engine produced by AMG. This compact yet potent engine produces 671 hp and 800 Nm of torque to launch this smooth convertible to supercar speeds. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (60 mph) is possible in just 3.7 seconds, while the top speed is 325 km/h (202 mph). This V8 is well-known for its use in numerous Mercedes products and other Astons. The brand purists might have some complaints since it is not a bona fide British unit, but everybody else recognizes it as a very modern, capable, and powerful choice. This engine is matted to ZF’s 8-speed automatic and sends power to the rear wheels.

Interior

One of the most significant flaws of the outgoing DB11 model was the interior, which had strange rectangular steering wheels, a slow and outdated infotainment system, and poor ergonomics. The DB12 sorted all those issues, and now its interior is one of the finest places. Especially when the top is down and the sun shines through. With the elegant dashboard, easy-to-read digital cluster in front of the driver, and a crisp and fast infotainment system, the DB12 Volante feels premium and modern, just as Aston wanted.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante - Interior

Interestingly, Aston’s designers managed to avoid falling into the touchscreen trap as many of their competitors did. The DB12 Volante has a touchscreen, but the majority of essential commands (climate, volume) are physical and neatly mounted on the central console. It is the ideal analog and digital blend, making it so good.

Although the Volante has a fold-down top, it doesn’t steal any interior space, and it feels as comfortable and tucked in as the coupe. The eight-layer canvas top is designed not only to keep the passenger from the elements but also to provide sound insulation, especially at high speeds at the same level as the coupe. It can be folded in just 14 seconds (raised in 16 seconds) and can be done at speeds of up to 50 km/h (30 mph), which is amazing.

Chassis

A critical factor that makes the DB12 Volante a Super Tourer instead of a Grand Tourer is the chassis, engineering, and road holding. Aston is proud that this model, even though it is a convertible, is 7% stiffer than the outgoing DB11 Volante. But even more impressive is the 500% increase in force distribution bandwidth, which makes it noticeably sharper and more precise without losing comfort and compliance. Crucial improvements in such towers, chassis bracing, and chassis construction resulted in significant improvements. The DB12 Volante handles like a racing car with communicative steering and ideal road holding when pushed to the limits, but it makes a comfy summer cruiser when the driver wants it.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante - Chassis

Conclusion

You can think of a DB12 Volante as a luxury convertible designed for a relaxed drive down the coastal road. But when you start analyzing it and seeing how much effort and engineering excellence was put into it, you realize that Aston was right. It isn’t just a Grand Tourer anymore. It is a new generation of driver’s cars that can be docile when needed and sharp and fast when you want to push it to its limits. With seductive body lines, a superb interior, a powerful engine, and a chassis that is a work of art, the DB12 Volante is a Super Tourer. And to make things even more irresistible, the top quickly adds another layer of driver enjoyment to an already fantastic car.

If you like to drive an Aston Martin DB12 Volante, please feel free to contact us anytime info@edelstark.com.

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