"The Volante is the new soft-top version of the Virage incorporating the latest changes made to the full Aston range. Beautiful hand-built craftsmanship abounds in this most aristocratic of convertibles." - Fast Lane.
The Volante convertible had been the big seller of the 'old' V8 line-up, so the only surprise was that it took Aston Martin more than two years from the Virage coupé's introduction to come up with a soft-top equivalent. The production Virage Volante debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1991, a prototype having been displayed at Birmingham's NEC the previous October. Weighing in at over two tons (2,032kg) the open Volante was even heavier than the closed coupé, itself no lightweight, this increase in weight being accounted for by considerable body strengthening to compensate for the absent roof, plus the extra complication of the power-operated convertible hood. The latter was beautifully made and incorporated a glass rear window complete with heated de-misting elements. Mechanically the Volante remained much the same as its closed cousin, though with slightly lower final drive gearing to aid acceleration through the gears. Top speed was slightly reduced, to a still outstanding 150mph. Automatic transmission was standard on the Volante, the original three-speeder being superseded in 1993 by a new four-speed dual-mode (normal/sport) unit. The five-speed manual 'box continued to be available as an option.
After spearheading the Aston Martin V8's transformation for the 1990s, the Virage name was dropped during 1994, its place as the 'standard' model being taken by a Vantage-style V8 coupé. Introduced at the Geneva Salon in March 1996, the new V8 coupé adopted all of the Vantage's muscular styling cues but retained the normally aspirated, 5.3-litre engine. The latter boasted revised cylinder heads, camshafts, pistons and an improved 'Alpha Plus' electronic engine management system, all of which boosted maximum power by 24bhp over the Virage unit.
Later Volante convertibles were built to the V8 coupé's improved specification, and then in 1998 a further variation on the theme became available. Premiered at the London Motor Show in October, this was a long-wheelbase version of the Volante benefiting from a 200mm stretch that increased rear passenger leg room and luggage space. By the time production of Aston Martin's long running V8 finally ceased in 2000, just 64 of these last-of-the-line Volantes had been built compared with 234 of the standard shorter-wheelbase version.
One of the final batch constructed, this left-hand drive Volante LWB was supplied to the personal order of its present owner and delivered new via British Motors in Monaco. Finished in Antrim Blue metallic with new matching mohair hood, lined in alcantara, and blue-piped magnolia leather interior, the car is equipped with automatic transmission, optional adjustable suspension and CD changer. Always kept garaged and last serviced in February 2004, the vehicle is presented in virtually 'as new' condition having covered just 1,580 kilometres since delivery, and comes with all original books, tools, owner's wallet, car cover, Monegasque registration papers and roadworthiness certificate valid until 2007.
La production de la Virage Volante a démarré avec le Salon de l'Auto de Genève en mars 1991. Cette Volante chassis long, l'une des dernières de seulement 64 construites, a été livrée sur commande spéciale de son propriétaire actuel par British Motors à Monaco. Carrosserie bleu métallisé Antrim avec capote en mohair assortie doublée en alcantara et intérieur en cuir magnolia bleu, la voiture est équipée d'une boîte automatique, d'une suspension réglable et d'un changeur de CD. Toujours abritée dans un garage, elle a subi son dernier service en février 2004. Elle est présentée «comme neuve», n'a parcouru que 1'580 kilomètres depuis sa livraison et est proposée avec tous ses manuels d'origine, outils, pochette du propriétaire, bâche, documents d'immatriculation monégasques et certificat d'expertise valable jusqu'en 2007.