Aston Martin is set to welcome Adrian Hallmark as its new CEO this summer, and he’s in for a thrilling ride if he tests the brand’s new flagship, the Aston Martin DB12 Volante. This model captivates whether the roof is stowed or secured, maintaining the sleek silhouette that has become synonymous with Aston Martin’s grand tourers. It seems not only Hallmark but also potential buyers have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of this convertible since its debut last summer.

The DB12 Volante rivals its coupé counterpart in aesthetics, thanks to a perfectly integrated fabric roof that complements its elegant lines. Whether you opt for the open-air experience or prefer the enclosure of a roof, this car is guaranteed to turn heads with its refined styling and proportional symmetry. However, it’s not just about looks; the vehicle’s performance remains a highlight, offering a blend of luxury and power that is typical of Aston Martin.

Despite its open-top design, Aston Martin has not considered modern electrification for the DB12, and it has a fuel consumption rate over twelve litres per 100 kilometres. The 4.72-meter-long vehicle is powered by a well-known twin-turbo V8 engine, which thanks to larger chargers, delivers an impressive 680 PS. Is such power necessary for a nearly two-tonne two-seater? Perhaps not, but it’s delightful that this British beauty boasts such capabilities. At just under 3,000 rpm, the car’s 800 Nm of torque ensures exhilaration for drivers, especially when transitioning from motorway straights to the gentle curves of the Black Forest.

Even with the wind deflector raised, a notable breeze can still be felt inside the cabin, which, unlike some competitors, lacks comfort features like heated armrests or a neck warmer. Thus, seat heating, the wind deflector, and raised side windows are necessary to combat the morning chill. However, as the sun warms the cabin, the dynamic enjoyment on roads beyond Schönwald, Furtwangen, and Triberg grows. The warmer tarmac and the harmonious mood of driver and engine make for an exhilarating drive, with a nearly balanced weight distribution enhancing the joy at each corner exit.

The Aston Martin DB12 Volante can accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds and can reach a dizzying 325 km/h on the motorway, though such specs are hardly relevant in everyday use. Yet, they certainly make for great bragging rights among friends, countering any criticism for the marque’s shift away from the prestigious V12 engine. Although a V12 might suit this sun worshipper well, those days are over for Aston Martin, unfortunately. Nonetheless, the sound of the V8 is spectacular, overpowering the 1,170-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system with its 15 speakers once the robust fabric roof retracts in 14 seconds—possible at speeds up to 50 km/h.

Inside, the DB12 Volante is quintessentially Aston Martin: contemporary, yet not cutting-edge. The digital instruments behind the sporty steering wheel could be larger; there’s no head-up display, and the angle of the central 10.25-inch touchscreen is less than ideal when the roof is down and the sun is out. Space is ample for two adults, who must fit their luggage in the modest 262-litre boot or on the tiny rear seat bench. The DB12 Volante offers limited everyday utility but exceptional driving pleasure for a lofty €242,500.

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