Aston Martin today (June 19 2013) unveiled it latest sports car - the Vanquish Volante. The new model and its coupe sister are at the pinnacle of the luxury British automaker’s range.Benefiting from all design and engineering in the Vanquish coupe, the new Volante offers the thrill of drop-top driving.Image galleryEasily one of the most beautiful cars in its class, the Vanquish Volante crucially retains the coupe’s dynamic character and performance. It's powered by a six-lite V12 petrol (same as the coupe) capable of 421kW at 6750rpm and 620Nm at 5500rpm. The engine is mated to six-speed auto.THREE DRIVING MODES The Vanquish Volante employs an array of driver technology including dynamic stability and torque controls. Adaptive shock-absorbers allow three drivinf modes - normal, sport and track.The shocks' settings are determined by an electronic control unit that takes readings from the car’s systems - throttle position, brake position, steering wheel rotation and vehicle speed. The front brakes use 398mm x 36mm carbon-ceramic discs with larger front pads and six-piston callipers from the One-77. The rear brakes are 360mm x 32mm carbon ceramics with four-piston callipers.The car is the first fully carbon-fibred Volante in the automaker’s 100-year history, while also being the stiffest Volante body structure yet. The fabric roof takes 14 seconds to fold.SUPER GT CLASSAston Martin's CEO Ulrich Bez said: “This car is what luxury super GT driving is all about. It has great performance, fantastic style and exhilarating Volante motoring in one superb package. Aston Martin is celebrating 100 years of excellence in 2013 and the arrival of this new sports car today – our ultimate Volante – underlines that our mission to make the next 100 years even more successful is starting perfectly.”The design of the Vanquish Volante represents the latest take on Aston Martin’s visual language. Styling cues such as the waistline and diode tail lights are derived from the One-77 supercar.The windscreen is now full height, a first for Aston Martin, which means that the glass runs up to meet the fabric roof. The body panels are carbon-fibred to reduce weight and aid design as fewer panels are required.As practical as it is well-dressed, the Vanquish Volante has a boot 50% larger than that of the previous DBS Volante, offering 279 litres (roof up or down).A direct descendent of the One-77 centre console, the new model’s set-up retains familiar elements such as the ECU engine start button and glass gear buttons while featuring a new infotainment system.‘LUXURIOUS NATURE’Aston Martin design director, Marek Reichman, said: “Vanquish Volante is a sports car, of course, but more even than that it is the ultimate Volante. A car which follows a long line of elegant Aston Martin convertibles, this super GT is sculpted to convey sophistication as much as raw power.“The aerodynamically shaped tonneau, the proportions of the folding fabric roof, the luxurious nature of the cabin – these elements have been pored over by the design team, working with our engineering colleagues, to ensure we deliver the aesthetic appeal for which Aston Martin is renowned around the world.”The model goes on sale in Europe later in 2013 and retails from the equivalent of R3.1-million.