"We create dynamic, living pieces of sculpture at Aston Martin," says Aston design director Marek Reichman. "They have to have motion even when they're static." In the case of the 565-horsepower Vanquish Volante, a drop-top version of the brand's range-topping stunner, that means that every line has a purpose, an implied conclusion about the car's monstrous capabilities. Take that famous grille, for instance. "It's the widest grille we've ever made," Reichman says. "It's suggesting that the car is hugging the road." By using carbon fiber for the body – a first for an Aston convertible – the design team was able to create new shapes, like the deep draw of the rear fenders, that would've been impossible in metal. They were also able to eliminate a seam or two, lending the car a sleeker skin. Bolstering the impression of speed, there's no frame across the top of the windshield glass, which provides a concept-car look with the top down and a smooth, unbroken line when the cloth top is up. If there's one downside to the Vanquish coupe, it's that its sizzling V12 exhaust soundtrack just isn't loud enough from inside the car. The Vanquish Volante has a simple solution to that problem: Wait 14 seconds for the top to drop into the trunk. Bring your sunblock. And maybe your earplugs. [$298,000; astonmartin.com]
Style & Design 2014
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