DB9

DB9 VOLANTE

 

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New design. Timeless as ever

The VH structure of bonded aluminum sheet and extrusions needed few changes for the DB9 Volante that, although it doesn't have the same torsional stiffness as the coupe, suffers much less from losing its head than most of its competitors. So it doesn't have the cowl shake or creaks and groans that afflict many convertibles. On bad road surfaces there is some murmuring through the steering, but it's not enough to spoil the driving experience. And with the top down, there is more opportunity to savor the aural delights of that mighty V-12 engine.

The Volante weighs 130 more pounds than the coupe. It eschews the retractable hardtops that have recently become so fashionable in favor of a conventional folding fabric roof. The top is superlative for its type, fitting snugly so that wind noise is negligible, even at 100 mph, and powering down and under a flush body panel simply by pulling back a switch on the center console. There are no catches to be released or secured, and the whole process of putting the roof up or down takes just 17 seconds.

Track-day specialists will prefer the DB9 coupe in any case. The Volante isn't meant for such athletics. It has a more gentle suspension--softer springs and a thinner front anti-roll bar, with the rear bar deleted. Aston judged this setup more suited to the cruising for which the convertible will likely be used. Otherwise, mechanically, open and closed cars are identical.

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