In Review

Is the Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante a fitting finale?

End-of-an-era drop-top GT is 'the best-looking convertible you can buy', critics say

Aston Martin is undergoing a huge shake-up to try to regain its place as one of the best premium carmakers.

Having partnered with German auto giant Daimler, the British company is looking to increase quality and quantity to deliver luxurious vehicles with industry-leading craftsmanship.

The Vanquish S Volante is one of the last cars to be built before the Daimler deal and therefore brings to an end Aston Martin's independent manufacturing.

It features the same naturally aspirated 5.9-litre V12 engine as the Vanquish S coupe, although the drop-top has received tweaks to the inlet manifold, upping the power output by 3bhp to 595bhp.

The eight-speed Touchtronic gearbox has also been refined, with "faster shift times promised", and the suspension system has been tweaked to "sharpen things up" in sportier modes, reports AutoExpress

But is the Vanquish S Volante a fitting send-off to Aston Martin's pre-Daimler era? Here's what the critics think.


Outside, the drop-top cruiser retains much of the coupe's boisterous styling, including the quad-exhaust tailpipes and large carbon fibre front splitter. It's a similar look to the Vanquish's hardcore sibling, the Vantage GT12. 

While the Vanquish S Volante boasts more muscular bodywork than the standard car, it still features elegant Aston Martin styling such as signature wing vents and wheel arches at the rear. This arguably makes the Volante "the best-looking convertible you can buy", says Autocar. 

The Vanquish S Volante does get a few optional extras over the coupe version. These include two different 20in five-spoke wheels that can be specced in either gloss black or silver. Buyers can also choose an array of carbon fibre highlights at an additional cost.

Interior and tech

"Seating for front occupants is comfortable, with an outstretched driving position courtesy of the low-slung bodywork", Carbuyer reports. 

However, compared to its rival, the Mercedes-AMG GT, the cabin is "very simple and traditional" but "the craftsmanship is excellent".

Removing the roof does not make the cabin "too blustery" even at high speeds, says AutoExpress. It remains a civilised place to be when the soft-top roof is in place, although there can be "a bit of wind whistle from around the doors".

The Bang & Olufsen hi-fi "is as good as in pretty much any GT", adds the magazine, but the 6.5in infotainment system "isn't that sharp and it lacks the usability of more modern systems" despite featuring Apple CarPlay.

On the road

While the Vanquish S Volante has the same V12 engine and performance as the coupe version, Autocar says Aston Martin has tweaked the suspension to cater for the added weight needed to compensate for the removal of the roof. 

At lower speeds, the Volante feels "good" to drive, says the mag, but drivers will notice "there’s more girth being carried around", and while the body can shake slightly when the car is pushed, passengers will be too busy enjoying the soundtrack of the V12 engine to notice.

It's "nicely tuned for British roads and allows just the right level of vertical body movement to absorb bad surfaces without the body control getting too wayward", says AutoExpress.

The eight-speed automatic gearbox "adds to the easy, unruffled feel on the move", but the mag argues it isn't as "quick as the best dual-clutch boxes out there". Still, it "doesn’t jerk between changes" and provides a "nice throttle blip on the way down the ratios".

Price and rivals

Orders for the Vanquish S Volante are open now and prices start at £200,000, says Carbuyer. Expect that to rise substantially after options. 

"Its biggest problem is the fact the Ferrari California T costs quite a bit less", much like "most versions of the Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet". However, the site says much of the Volante's appeal comes from its looks and badge.


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