Our tame racing driver helps kicks off Evans's CarFest motor show...
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The Top Gear car review:Aston Martin DB9 Volante
For:A near-perfect looking car - the best brand image of all and a fantastic drop-top
Against:You'll be left wanting in the handling department
V12 2dr Volante Touchtronic Auto 
What we say:
Lovely though it is, Aston's DB9 Volante isn't the dynamic wonder you would have been hoping for
What is it?
Could have suspension made from bamboo for all we care - all will be forgotten once you put the roof down and hear that 6.0-litre V12.
A slight irrelevance if you’re plumping for the Volante in the first place - you’re quite blatantly in the frame for more show than outright go, but the DB9 isn’t half bad. At least, not as bad as the previous DB9 Volante. Still not up there with the best though, which is a bit of a shame. Mind you, not many owners will notice, because they probably can’t drive it fast enough to find out. Bitter? Us? Yes. Quite a lot and quite often.
Power is up in the latest iteration to 510bhp from the 6.0-litre V12, with an accompanying 457lb ft. That translates to figures that aren’t too shabby: 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and 183mph top end. Impressive enough, though it’s the noise that makes it sound properly fast. Addictive aural stimulation.
On the inside
The DB9 is a big GT and therefore copes pretty well taking care of you on a daily basis. OK, so the bootspace gets eaten into with the roof folded, but you can always use the back ‘seats’ as extra stowage. You can see out of it and is even relatively easy to drive - you could use it every day and not feel hard done by.
Big. Astons drink heavily, have massive insurance bills and need to be surgically inserted into some sort of special machine to be serviced. Mind you, the residuals are still doing ok, so tell that to the red-faced bank manager just before you show him the £131k receipt you’ll have if you buy one.