Page 1: Introduction
DETROIT, MI - Hot on the heels of the 2004 Aston Martin DB9 Coupe, the new 2005 Aston Martin DB9 Volante convertible debuted at the North American International Auto Show during a frigid Michigan winter. Sharing specifications with the DB9 Coupe, save for the convertible top, the new DB9 Volante goes on sale in the fall of 2004.
A 6.0-liter V12 engine featuring 48 valves produces 450 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a Touchtronic manually interactive six-cog automatic with paddle shifters is available. Eighty percent of the engine's torque is cranking at 1,500 rpm to ensure quick off the line launches, delivered to the rear-mounted transmission via a carbon fiber driveshaft. In fact, Aston Martin says that the 2005 DB9 Volante will rush from rest to 60 mph in less than five seconds.
Credit this blazing accelerative ability to the extensive use of aluminum used in handcrafting the 2005 Aston Martin DB9 Volante. The DB9's aluminum-bonded body frame is 25 percent lighter yet twice as stiff torsionally as the old DB7, which the DB9 replaced this year as the volume Aston Martin.
Several body panels are also made of aluminum, the double wishbone four-wheel-independent suspension is constructed of the lightweight alloy, and even the gauge needles are created using this high-tech material in an effort to keep weight down. With the engine located up front and the transmission mounted in the rear, these weight saving efforts result in a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution front to rear.
Page 2: Features
The 2005 Aston Martin DB9 Volante sheds its roof in 17 seconds, tucking it beneath a power-operated hard tonneau for a finished look. Handmade in Gaydon, England, Aston Martin expects that as many as half of all DB9 sales will be the Volante model. Pricing will be announced closer to the new model's arrival on the market.
--Photos Courtesy of Aston Martin