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Aston Martin Vanquish Volante drops its expensive top


Aston Martin Vanquish Volante drops its expensive topConvertibles remain a staple of the ultra luxury car world, in no small part because when you spend $300,000 on a car, what good are all those heads you're turning if they can't see you? Today, Aston Martin unveiled what may rank as the ultimate convertible of the moment — the Vanquish Volante, a beautiful piece of carbon fiber sculpture that can hit 60 mph in just over four neck-snapping seconds.

Based on Aston's top of the line Vanquish, the Volante keeps the 6-liter V-12 good for 565 hp, but has gone through a weight-loss program so that it can match the performance of the closed-roof Vanquish. The major change: Every body panel is carbon fiber, a first for Aston, and one that largely maintains the Vanquish's power-to-girth ratio, while the folding top can be dropped in 14 seconds. Aston Martin engineers also stiffened the chassis 14 percent over the DBS Vanquish convertible, because who doesn't appreciate a stiff chassis.

Yes, it's not Ferrari or a Bentley, and the starting price of $297,995 in the United States only shows that even millionaires may be fooled by keeping that last five dollars off a sticker. But Aston Martin has over the past decade carved an enviable niche in the supercar world, selling models that offer more luxury than the Italians and more sporting aspiration than its German-British counterparts. The Vanquish Volante only shows just how alluring that formula still is.