Shooting down an impossibly gorgeous link of British pavement, the landscape begins to look like it's been pulled from the pages of a glossy magazine. You start to wonder if it's real or simply a sleep-deprived manifestation. We are in dire need of coffee, but my co-driver and I have been unwilling to stop for fear the entire faade may disappear. Approaching triple digits, my colleague decides he's had enough. We're going to stop at the next shop, a mere 50 feet in front of us. The bite of the giant ceramic brakes seems to stop time; the next two-tenths of a second happen in slow motion. My sunglasses jettison themselves from my face and wedge between the windshield and the dash. They make an expensive crunching sound. Although we are no longer moving, the Volante has produced a sort of shockwave that hits a stand of trees like an invisible fist. For all I know, it might have been our souls ripped from our bodies.
So yeah, the DBS Volante has some amazing binders. It needs them. Its 510-hp V12 produces some 85 percent of its power at a mere 1500 rpm. Unleashing the Volante is a truly singular experience, right up there with a Space Shuttle launch.
In truth, I think this 16th convertible from Aston Martin was designed to illustrate the brilliance of the DBS engine and chassis. There's nothing quite as affecting as a convertible, especially one that can hit 190 mph.
Obviously, the crew at Aston needed a super-robust roof for such a machine. When raised, the four-deep fabric roof is insulated with an additional layer of Thinsulate material. The entire roof opens and hides itself in 14 seconds thanks to a new five-piston hydraulic pump. The roof stows below the newly-sculpted tonneau cover, which also houses the Roll-Over-Protection-System.
Without question, this is the most refined convertible in the world, almost too refined. Traveling at 90 mph, I can actually hear my co-driver digesting his breakfast. Some things are better left unheard. Time to put the top down. This can be accomplished by simply slowing to 40 mph and pushing a button-no need to pull over and wait.