From: Hemmings Motor NewsDate: March 1989Price then: $68,000 ($130,200 adjusted for inflation, about the cost…
The 211-mph DBS Superleggera Volante is Aston Martin’s fastest convertible ever
Just how many people want the wind blowing through their hair at 211 miles per hour is unclear, but that market segment is now filled by the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Based on Aston Martin’s flagship grand tourer DBS Superleggera, it is the fastest convertible the British company has ever offered. Powered by a 715-horsepower twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12 engine, the DBS Superleggera Volante can go from 0–100 mph quicker than most cars can get to 60 mph: 6.7 seconds. The 0–60 mpg time is less than 3.6 seconds.
Under the guidance of design head Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s “design engineers” have paid particular attention to the DBSSV’s aerodynamics. At top speed, the body produces 390 pounds of downforce, helped by a special version of AM’s active Aeroblade rear spoiler. That’s within seven pounds of the hardtop’s available downforce, a notable achievement for an open top car.
The major styling difference from the coupe (except, of course, for the new roof and rear deck) is a deeper side strake above the rocker panel, said to improve high speed stability by extracting more air from the front wheel arch, thereby reducing lift.
The V-12’s 663 lb-ft of torque is transmitted from the engine to a strengthened eight-speed ZF automatic transmission mounted at the rear via a carbon fiber driveshaft running inside a torque tube.
The body is also made of carbon fiber composite but the DBSSV is no lightweight, despite the Superleggera moniker. Superleggera means “super light” in Italian and, in case you are wondering, Volante (how AM brands convertibles) is Italian for “flying.” The 4107-pound Volante is about 10-percent heavier than the coupe so the final drive ratio has been shortened to keep acceleration “ferocious.”
The three driving modes—GT, Sport, and Sport Plus—change the car’s dynamics and powertrain mapping, as well as alter the note coming from the vehicle’s quad exhausts. That mapping calls for some snarling and popping when normally firing up the V-12, so there is also a “quiet start” mode for when valor calls for more discretion.
The multi-layered fabric roof is described as a system, incorporating eight layers of thermal and acoustic insulation capable of withstanding both Death Valley’s desert heat and the Arctic Circle’s cold, while still allowing designers the freedom to have a flowing roof line when the top is up. It takes just 14 seconds to lower the roof and 16 seconds to close it, and it can be operated remotely from the key fob within six feet of the car. When folded, the roof stacks to just over 10 inches, keeping the profile of the car smooth with the top down. Aston Martin says the roof mechanism has been tested for over 100,000 cycles, the equivalent of 10 years of normal use. As part of what the company is calling “exceptional” levels of personalization, the roof is available in eight exterior and six interior colors.
An optional twill carbon fiber windscreen surround is available as is a carbon tonneau cover for the roof and carbon waterfall that tumbles into the interior from the back deck. That composite material also replaces interior leather trim, with tinted carbon fiber an option.
Deliveries for the $329,100 DBS Superleggera Volante begin in the third quarter of this year.