Storied British sports car maker Aston Martin has unveiled its latest model, a convertible version of the shapely flagship DB11 coupe launched last year.

The DB11 Volante shares its coupe sibling’s aluminum structure but replaces the fixed roof with a fabric top Aston says stows away electrically in 14 seconds, provides shelter from the great outdoors in 16, and can be operated at speeds up to about 50 km/h or remotely via the car’s key fob.

Aston Martin says a fabric roof boasts a “timeless appeal” in spite of the popularity of folding hardtop convertibles. To match that appeal with the kind of refinement expected from a high-end car, the roof consists of eight layers designed to insulate the cabin both from wind noise and weather extremes.

Aston says its engineers put the roof through its paces by subjecting the design to 100,000 up-and-down cycles to compress 10 years of use into a month-long test. Then it took prototypes to Death Valley, the Arctic Circle, and other places known for their extreme weather to further validate the roof’s durability.

Lopping the roof off a coupe to create a convertible brings well-known challenges in terms of the body’s structural rigidity, and Aston Martin says it has compensated for that by strengthening the lower part of the DB11’s body. That added 115 kg of weight, but Aston assures us this latest convertible is both lighter and more rigid than its predecessor, the DB9 Volante.

Also borrowed from the DB11 coupe is a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that makes 530 hp and 498 lb-ft of torque, which is fed to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The convertible does without the coupe’s optional 600-hp V12.

The Aston Martin DB11 convertible will go on sale in the first quarter of 2018 at a price we expect will approach the $300,000 mark in Canada.

(via Auto Express)