2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante: Opulence and Octupi

Because of the complexity of the convertible mechanism, the DBS Superleggera Volante also gains about 220 lbs over its closed-roof sibling, bringing the total to a claimed 4045 lbs. Though top speed remains the same as the coupe, this extra weight is largely responsible for the 0.2 second slowdown in mile-a-minute acceleration, not that you’ll notice (we have driven both, extensively, and we didn’t.) On the plus side, that body mass indexes itself entirely over the rear wheels, bringing the coupe’s slightly front-biased weight distribution to a perfect 50/50. To deal with this extra poundage, the rear springs and damping increase by 13 percent and 30 percent respectively. Other than that, the cars have, according to Aston engineering head Matt Becker, “the exact same dynamic character.”
This character, as it turns out, is a very attractive one, distilling the best of both worlds from the brand’s other two-door models—the crisper and more sporting Vantage and the softer and more pliant DB11. This does not necessarily make the DBS the ideal tool for the adapted ancient donkey routes that wend their way through the mountainous Priorat region of Spain, a couple hours northeast of Barcelona, where we did our driving. In this nearly inaccessible area of steeply terraced vineyards and ancient walled towns, the Volante’s Mercedes-derived infotainment map resembled the tentacles of 100 octopi.
This two-ton, sporting boulevardier executed the twisties with decent verve and poise, and a properly British level of absorption—especially with the three-way, steering-wheel-button-adjustable powertrain set to its middle setting of Sport, and the similarly adjustable three-way steering-wheel-button-controlled suspension set to its lowest setting of GT. But instead of offering McLaren-style levels of brisk carving, it more wanted to make pulp out of this tangle of pulpo, plowing through with all 715 hp and 664 lb-ft of its 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12, the latter available from just 1800 rpm.