Aston Martin Volante 2005 Review
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It's a steering wheel in leather and it, in turn, is attached to a car that for the first time in my life I will term as the automotive equivalent of gorgeous.
Which is like the ethereal, out-of-body euphoria akin to your first date.
Which makes the first date so memorable, and its translation into the first drive of Aston Martin's drop-top Volante.
If somebody ever gets blase about cars, or grows green and rejects the excesses that come with fossil-fuelled transport, let them drive an Aston Martin.
Like Marie Antionette reputedly calling for the masses to eat cake in response to reports the starving Parisians had no bread, the answer is Aston Martin.
This amalgam of aluminium and a few of its alloys, a bit of rubber, some cows left too long in a Scottish paddock, and a 100 litres of the last remaining skerrick of fossil fuel is simply so good that it deserves bottling.
On the road with the vinyl roof firmly sealed, the Volante is a coupe.
The ride is quiet, cocooned and the forward motion is insulated in a manner expected of people who have too little time to worry about the nuances of traffic management.
For those who appreciate this mobile distinction from the outside world, buy the coupe. Or a Holden Statesman.
Drop the elaborately and hand-stitched fabric roof, however, and you return to the real world.
In a car that brazenly advertises the death of acres of cows, the driver mysteriously doesn't die at the hands of animal libertarians.
As it sucks the very lifeblood of every future Grand Prix champion, no grandparent stands in the way of an Aston Martin getting refuelled.
It's just that type of car.
Mechanically, this is a symphony of sound and the brutal meshing of various metals that live in a hostile environment of near-boiling oil and noxious gases.
Its life surrounds its heart, a six-litre reciprocating engine with an outrageous 12 cylinders.
This high-pressure pump drives through a six-speed automatic gearbox and, ultimately, the rear wheels.
In between all this, the fragile driver hangs on. Listening, appreciating and, in some cases, close to wetting himself.
Let all this go and the Aston Martin is a slingshot that isn't really made for the containment of suburbia.
It'll rush to 3000rpm so quickly you thank its automatic gearbox.
A blink or two later and it's closing on 7000rpm and you notice that the sound around you has changed.
From the barking bass, the Aston senses higher revs and changes the baffles in the exhaust pipe so it changes pitch.
Now, it's a scream in the higher register, mixed with the complaints of the mechanical components, so the sound is more urgent and more readily raises the hairs on the nape of the neck.
There is no relaxing its mood, though on a more deserted road the paddle-shift changes on the steering wheel refrain the car's potency.
Or you can just play numb and press big, draught-size discs on the centre dash that allocate the required gear. P for Park, R for Reverse, N for neutral and D for Drive.
Oh, and the other one centering this quattro which is the press-button starter. Gorgeous.
It starts with a bark, then has so much torque that it will simper off to the shops with madam in tow.
One glance at the dashboard will show madam that despite this being merely an engine with room for two humans, the decor is surprisingly tempered.
There's hand-stitched leather in a light tan and mahogany veneer in a burred chocolate flurry. Alloy-coloured trim shows the sporty nature of the beast, with suede for the inner layer of the electrically folding roof.
There are beautifully tailored rear seats in which no child can sit.
You can fit virtually nothing in the boot of any worth to an executive who can afford this car. Which doesn't appear to matter much.
The passenger seemed happy, as did the ability of the Linn sound system to whack out 950W. Enough, I believe, to power a small town. I think that's gorgeous.
Range and Specs
|Volante||5.9L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||No recent listings||2005 Aston Martin DB9 2005 Volante Pricing and Specs|
|(base)||5.9L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$80,200 – 101,420||2005 Aston Martin DB9 2005 (base) Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, n/a