Currently reading: Aston Martin DB12 Volante is most powerful V8 cabrio GT
GT combines ‘uncompromised’ handling with 671bhp AMG-derived V8; deliveries for end of 2023

The new Aston Martin DB12 Volante is aimed at being the world’s first open-top ‘super tourer’, offering the most powerful V8 of any cabrio GT currently on sale. 

The Volante’s brief was to deliver the same “uncompromised” handling and performance provided by the DB12 coupé, Aston Martin explained. Chopping the roof off reduces the torsional rigidity required for outright dynamic ability, so special attention was paid to reinforcing the Volante’s chassis. 

The suspension mounts have been made stiffer – by 140% at the front end – and a crossbrace has been added across the engine bay. 

These revisions mean the DB12 Volante has 3.7% more torsional rigidity than its DB11 predecessor. That car’s ‘K-fold’ soft top is carried over to the DB12 Volante. It can open in 14sec and close in 16sec, doing so at vehicle speeds of up to 31mph.

Aston martin db12 volante front roof down

The addition of the roof and extra chassis bracing incurs a significant weight penalty of 111kg. The Volante is otherwise unchanged compared with the DB12 coupé. It’s powered by the same Mercedes AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8, which sends up to 671bhp and 590lb ft of torque via an eight-speed automatic gearbox and to the road through the rear wheels.

Despite the additional mass, the Volante’s straight-line performance only marginally trails that of the coupé: it dispatches the 0-62mph sprint just 0.1sec slower, in a claimed 3.7sec. 

Aston martin db12 volante interior


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Replacement for the DB11 grand tourer packs a 671bhp V8 and has the Bentley Continental GT and Ferrari Roma in its sights

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It powers on to the same 202mph top speed. Inside, the drop-top is unchanged, save for the option of wood-veneer seatbacks matched to the doorcards – to create “an extra layer of visual interest” when the roof is down, according to Aston Martin. 

Production of the DB12 Volante is set to begin imminently, with deliveries starting by the end of the year. The firm’s next project is to revamp the Vantage in much the same manner as the DB12, to become what creative lead Marek Reichman dubbed a “complete hooligan”, when speaking to Autocar in June.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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jason_recliner 15 August 2023

Hot DAMN! Literally, absolutely NOTHING wrong with this one! Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nada. Riechman doesn't just do it again, he somehow manages to outdo it. The guys is a borderline living national treasure. Cool Britannia and God save the Queen! x

Caddylad 14 August 2023
As someone that has loved and worked in sales for the Aston Martin brand.. I struggle why people have to say so many negative things. I worked for them during Dr Ulrich Bez period, which to me, are Iconic and beautiful. current Vantage and the previous DB11 were disappointing, in terms of looks, moreso in the interiors and tech, but, they managed to carry onso far. AM has so much more investment now, including very personal influence from Mr Stroll and his team. The initial Mercedes tech was bad for a car being sold so much, but it didn't stop Aston's selling full of (PAG) tech during Fords ownership. I'm really positive for AM in the future.
Symanski 15 August 2023

You've hit the nail on the head.   The current line up isn't as beautiful or desireable as the ones under Dr Bez.


I may bash Aston, and Stroll for not having a clue about product and bleating on about brand as if that will make a difference, and of course about the design disasters from Reichman that aren't beautiful and aren't selling in sufficient numbers to keep Aston afloat, but I do so from a position where I want to see Aston thrive.


If your products aren't selling and so many state it's because their designs aren't good enough, surely you'd want to do something such as finding a new designer?   But no, Stroll just thinks he can add value to the Aston brand by shouting the name louder and louder.   Why not?   It worked for the cheap handbags he rebranded MK from China.   Yet, it seems in the automotive world you need something of substance, and people don't walk through your showroom door on name alone.


Speedraser 15 August 2023

I agree with much of this. However, I'm not at all positive about AM in the future. Sadly, I see more sharing of major components, not less. Wouldn't surprise me at all now if we see shared platforms gong forward in addition to shared drivelines. 

Symanksy, I hear you about the DB7's i6. Truthfully, I don't have enough solid info to know how different or similar it is to the Jaguar engine, so I can't say whether it qualifies as an "Aston Martin" engine to me. However, the DB7 is based on an XJS platform and, as you can probably guess, platform sharing is just as much of a deal-breaker for me as engine sharing. To Ford's immense credit, once the DB7 saved Aston (and yes, I fully recognize that it did), Ford funded the bespoke Vanquish and the VH platform cars -- no more sharing. To be clear, I love Jaguars, but a Jaguar should be a Jaguar and an Aston should be an Aston.

Stroll thinks he can make "Aston Martins" out of anything as long as he brands it effectively. He cannot, because that's not what an Aston is. I also desperately want Aston Martin to survive and to prosper. I say that as a lifelong Aston guy, and I currently own two (one bought new, one bought used). But being reduced to buying someone else's off-the-shelf engines is not Aston Martin surviving, nor would the IMO too likely possibility of shared platforms at some point. A Benz-platformed and engined "Aston" would be a sham, an automotive atrocity and a crying shame. Smoke and mirrors does not an Aston Martin make. Off-someone-else's-shelf engines does not an Aston Martin make. 

Symanski 15 August 2023

Speedraser, I see your view and I don't challenge it.   It's fine.


The Jaguar block that the i6 used ended up never being used by Jaguar.   In that respect it's unique to Aston Martin!


Yes I do believe that the DB7 effectively was born out of TWR trying to update the XJS for Jaguar on-spec but then became an Aston Martin when they rejected this idea.   I think certain events, people and decisions came together just at the right time for Aston to be saved.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Vanquish chassis was designed by Lotus Engineering on the back of the work done on the Elise and therefore used a similar build method.   But when it came to the VH platform that was done in-house by Aston Martin?


Definitely having a bespoke and unquie chassis is the right idea for a thoroughbred as Stroll claims he wants Aston to be.   Likewise with powertrain.   If he wants Aston to be the "British Ferrari" then you have little choice but to go that route.


But when it came to Jaguar, they needed to platform share with Ford and have it done right.   The X-Type was a mistake because it looked like your grandfather's car, not the youthful 3 Series rival it was supposed to be.   And space in the rear was shocking.    VAG platform share like no other yet get a free pass by journalists where they'd have their knives out for Jaguar.  Very poor.   Jaguar needed to do a 1 Series / A Class rival not telling most of their customers to F off whilst chasing those with £100k to spend on a car.    Following Bollore's plan and having McGovern's arrogance is a recipe for disaster.



Speedraser 16 August 2023

Symanski, I should learn more about the DB7's i6. Although the DB7 used the XJS platform, Aston was as close to dead as can possibly be without actually dying, so I understand the reasoning and business case for how it came to be. I'll say it again - IMO, to Ford's immense credit, once the DB7 saved Aston, Ford funded Aston and let them make great Astons without any engine or platform sharing. 

About the Vanquish: I'd like to know more definitively, but I believe Aston consulted with Lotus while designing the Vanquish chassis, though I don't know to what extent Lotus "designed" it versus Aston. of course, the Vanquish chassis is much more than a bigger Elise (some have said that's all it is) and, unlike the Elise, it used carbon composites extensively in its structure - the front and rear crash structures, central tunnel/spine, windshield surround (including the A-pillars) and strut brace are carbon. As you said, the Vanquish chassis was a big beneficiary of Lotus's expertise with the Elise and aluminum chassis strucures (among other things). To my knowledge, Lotus was not involved in the desogn of the VH chassis (some claim the Vanquish was the first VH, but I think that's something of a hindsight view). That said, while developing the VH structure, Aston did take advantage of other Ford-owned companies' knowledge, such as Volvo's expertise when designing and testing crash structures.

Needless to say, I agree that Aston Martin simply cannot claim to be in Ferrari's league, to be a thoroughbred, if it doesn't make its own engine. I know some will point to Pagani, for example. Well, Pagani is a still fairly new, and unique, company that builds tiny numbers of cars and that never made its own engines (and those it uses from AMG are not simply off the shelf) - whereas Aston has 100+ years of doing so. I love Astons, but there's no way the coming AMG-engined Valhalla can be seen as a true Ferrari rival until Ferrari uses someone else's engine...

I agree completely about VAG. A Conti GT is a beautiful car, but it was a Phaeton underneath (gen 1), and the current one shares its platform with the Panamera. If I want a Bentley, I want a Bentley - I don't want it to also be a Porsche. Q7/Cayenne/Bentayga/Urus etc. 

I hear you about Jaguar. While ideally I'd love to see Jaguar be just Jaguar, I do actually recognize that that's more than a tall ask. It's one thing to share platforms/engines at the X-type level (or perhaps XE), but an XJ or XK should be its own thing. An A3 sharing its platform with a Golf is very different from the Conti-Panamera sharing, or the R8 sharing engines and chassis with the Huracan. I truly fear for Jaguar's survival, and I think the current plan doesn't have a prayer.

Symanski 14 August 2023

If this was the original DB11 or previous DBS you'd say it was "ok", but it's not.   Yes, it is an improvement over the DB11 and all previous attempts to design a car by Marek Reichman, but just about being good enough isn't good enough.


What happened to "Beautiful"?


Ian Callum did it in one with the DB7, but how many attempts has Marek Reichman taken for people to say "it's ok".   Just "ok".   Not stunning, not beautiful, just "ok".


Locking in poor sales for this generation of DB.  Locking in more failure at Aston when they really needed to find a competent designer to set them up for the next decade with beautiful and desireable cars that sold.


Reichman designs don't sell in sufficient numbers for Aston to survive.   To save Aston Martin sack Marek Reichman.