2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante first drive: Two-faced, gentrified bruiser

There is more than one car within the precise, elegant lines of the new Aston Martin DB11 Volante. One of them you definitely want on your side in a bar brawl, and the other you want representing you in the ensuing court visit. Before we dwell a bit more on the rather two-faced dynamic attitude of this big, V8-powered drop-top Aston Martin GT, here’s the rest of the stuff you need to know…

Aston Martin DB11 Volante

First impressions

Well, just look at it. It’s beautiful. All low and wide and full of sophistication and sporting intent all at the same time. Maybe that strake running off the front wheelarch is a bit divisive, and the flatter rear deck of the soft-top DB11 doesn’t have quite the perfect swooping proportions of the coupe (which you can find out all about in our DB11 coupe video) but roof up or down the Volante is still an elegant yet purposeful roadster that looks as poster-worthy on a mucky, uninspiring country road as it does in a photographic studio. As our test drive proved... 

 

 

The interior is similarly lustrous. Details such as seat backs that can be veneered in wood, the clamshell-like stitching design on the seat bases, the swooping, raised central spine that separates the driver from the passenger and makes you feel ensconced. This is a drastic improvement on Astons of a generation ago and speaks loudly of the improvements the brand has made in recent years.

It’s supremely comfortable up front, and quiet, too. Double-glazed glass and eight layers of roof fabric keep wind noise...