Ultimate Open Aston

If you missed your chance to snag one of the 77 Aston Martin One-77 supercars and feel that the new flagship Vanquish Coupe just isn’t your cup of tea, then the new drop-top version of the company’s top-of-the-line V-12 may be just the ticket.

The 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante not only offers top-down thrills from its 565 hp, 6.0-liter V-12 engine but also is the first convertible from the famed British marque to have a body completely composed of carbon fiber. Like the Coupe, the Volante is equipped with a paddle-shift 6-speed sequential Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission. The lightweight body and massive output from the new AM11 engine translates to a top speed of 183 mph.

But the Vanquish Volante isn’t just about speed. Its nearly perfect 51/49 front-and-rear weight distribution contributes to surefooted handling. And standard Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix disc brakes provide massive stopping power.

Following in the footsteps of the recently redesigned Vanquish Coupe, the Volante sports a Coke-bottle shape inspired by the One-77. Unlike the current fad of convertible hard tops, the Vanquish Volante retains a triple-layer fabric top that can be raised or lowered while driving at speeds up to 30 mph, an action that takes a scant 14 seconds. The material also means that the top stows in a much more compact space than a hard top, ensuring that the sleek lines of the coupe are retained whether the lid is up or down and offering a trunk space that is 50 percent larger than that of the DBS Volante that this car replaces.

Sales of the handsome 2-plus-2 Vanquish Volante, priced at $297,995, have already begun; deliveries start next year. (www.astonmartin.com)

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