2019 Aston Martin DB11 Volante First Drive: Lost And Found

– Nice, France

Aston Martin’s DB11 keeps losing things. First it lost four cylinders with the introduction of a V8. Now, it’s lost its roof. But despite the losses, the British car manufacturer’s sporty grand tourer somehow keeps getting better.

Credit the 2019 DB11 Volante’s goods on its design. When Julian Nunn, lead designer on the DB11 Volante, originally sketched the car, he aimed, well, low: “I made a side-view drawing of what I wanted. I was being cheeky and drew a rather fast roof which you don’t normally get on a convertible,” he says. That vision resulted in a long, low top that yielded a car more aerodynamic than the hardtop coupe.

2019 Aston Martin DB11 Volante

The so-called K-Fold canopy, named for how it compresses when retracted, is comprised of eight layers of acoustic and insulation materials. It does a great job of keeping the noise out when it’s up. Inside, the cabin’s quietness matches the Volante’s coupe cousin. When the top is down, it stacks more compactly in its rear compartment than any Aston Martin convertible before it.

Implementing a new hydraulic motor, the roof operates more quietly than on previous Volante models. And if you’re caught in some ubiquitous British rain when taking this open-aired beauty for a spin, the roof functions at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. One need only get wet for a paltry 16 seconds. When the sun pops back out, the roof only takes 14 seconds to retract and one can start working on their tan again.

Because of the extra bulk from the canvas to...