The high-end premium grand-tourer segment is going strong and prospective buyers have many interesting cars to choose from – especially if their budget is not limited to the more mainstream offerings.

    The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante and the Bentley Continental GT Convertible are going head-to-head for their roaring 12-cylinder engines, attractive styling, British heritage and premium feel, although the differences in pricing and performance doesn’t make them direct competitors.

    Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante

    The DBS Superleggera Volante premiered in April 2019 as the convertible version of the equivalent coupe launched back in 2018.

    At the moment it remains Aston Martin’s flagship grand tourer, as a more expensive, aggressive, powerful version of the DB11, although both models share a platform, have 2+2 layouts, and remain similar in overall proportions and size.

    Designer: Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer at Aston Martin
    Engine: 5.2-litre bi-turbo, V12 producing 533kW and 900Nm
    Transmission: Eight-speed torque converter
    0-100km/h: 3.6 seconds
    Top speed: 340km/h
    Dimensions: 4715mm long, 2145mm wide, 1295mm tall, 2805mm wheelbase
    Weight: 1863kg

    Bentley Continental GT Convertible

    The third-generation Continental GT Convertible premiered in November 2018 as the open-top version of the equivalent coupe launched in 2017. It is available with either a V8 or W12 engine and features a 2+2 cabin and a fabric roof.

    Designer: Stefan Sielaff, Head of Design Bentley Motors
    Engine: 6.0-litre W12 turbocharged engine producing 467kW and 900Nm
    Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic
    0-100km/h: 3.8 seconds
    Top speed: 333km/h
    Dimensions: 4850mm long, 2187mm wide, 1399mm tall, 2851mm wheelbase
    Weight: 2414kg

    Round 1: Front-end

    Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante

    The front end of the Superleggera is ultra-aggressive and exotic thanks to the Aston Martin grille that takes up most of the front bumper area, the carbon-fibre splitter and the large side intakes for brake-cooling.

    The headlights with soft, rounded edges are positioned on the fenders and feature angular LED graphics reminiscent of the DB11. The long bonnet is heavily sculpted with dynamic lines dictated by the grille and deep air vents, while the front windshield frame is finished in carbon-fibre for the first time in an Aston Martin.

    Bentley Continental GT Convertible

    Like its predecessors, the latest Continental GT features four round headlights and a large rectangular grille that sits more upright, giving the car a more powerful stance. The headlight units with LED Matrix technology feature beautiful graphics inspired by cut-crystal glasses.

    The front bumper is also heavily sculpted with a central aerodynamic wing dividing the large air intakes. The bonnet is longer than before, with stronger dynamic lines from the grille to the base of the windshield and on the front fenders.

    Round 2: Profile

    Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante

    From the side, the DBS reveals its sporty and aristocratic nature. Is classic front-engined, rear-wheel drive proportions are accentuated thanks to the 21-inch rims, the powerful graphics on the bumpers, the deep side strakes expanding the front wheel arches and the lack of the roof.

    The dropping waistline follows the shape of the front fenders in combination with the recessed body above the side sills and muscular rear shoulders to create a slim, powerful silhouette. As for the fabric roof, it opens in 14 seconds and closes in 16s.

    It can be specified in eight different colours. Its fabric system allows for a flowing roof line and features 8-layers of insulation materials. 

    Bentley Continental GT Convertible

    The profile of the Bentley retains the signature character lines of the front and rear fenders emphasising the large 21-inch wheels. In the latest Continental GT those lines are deeper than before, enriched with elements such as the lower side vents finished in black, expanding into the doors and rear bumper.

    The lack of roof accentuates the long wheelbase and rear overhang. The fabric roof can be specified in seven different colours, including an authentic tweed finish for the first time. It can be deployed or stowed in 19 seconds.

    Round 3: Rear end

    Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante

    The aggressive theme continues to the rear of the Aston Martin, with slim darkened taillights connected through a thin strip of trim above the Aston Martin lettering.

    Even though it has a fabric roof, there is a revised Aeroblade II system producing up to 177 kg of downforce at top speed. The discreet carbon-fibre spoiler on the trunk is gathering the dynamic lines of the rear deck which looks wide thanks to the impressive rear shoulders.

    Below, there is a large opening housing the double diffuser and the quad exhaust tailpipes finished in Matte Black.

    Bentley Continental GT Convertible

    The rear section of the Continental GT is arguably the most fitting to its premium and exclusive character. The almond-shaped taillights with gem-like LED graphics are slimmer than before framed by chrome or dark-tinted trim and housed in the beautifully recessed part of the tail.

    The rear deck has a clean design ending in a fully-integrated spoiler, while the signature rear shoulders give it a wide stance.

    The rear bumper has chrome or dark-coloured strips continuing the profile theme. Below we find two oval shaped tailpipes that are exclusive to the W12 model (four round tailpipes on the V8) connected through a black insert above the body-coloured diffuser.

    Round 4: Interior

    Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante

    Inside the DBS Superleggera, most of the dashboard is carried over from the DB11. What is unique to the DBS is the instrument cluster, combining analog gauge in the middle with digital screens on each side.

    The organically-shaped centre console with piano black trim has an array of physical buttons (climate controls, media and gearbox selector unconventionally placed below the climate vents). At the top is an 8.0-inch screen for the infotainment, operated by a touchpad on the central tunnel.

    The flat-bottom sports steering wheel with carbon fibre details is finished in Obsidian black leather. The Sports Plus seats and the dashboard are upholstered in Caithness leather and Alcantara. There are also six different headliners for the inside of the fabric roof. Finally, we have an optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound premium audio system.

    Bentley Continental GT Convertible

    The interior of the Continental GT is typical of a Bentley, offering a combination of high-quality leathers, aluminium and a variety of hand-crafted veneers, numerous colour options, and hidden technology. The dashboard resembles the wings of the Bentley emblem and flows into the door inserts.

    The 20-way adjustable heated and ventilated Comfort Seats with massage functions have an integrated neck warmer for drop-top driving in any weather.

    Behind the leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel is a digital instrument panel – which is an unconventional choice for a Bentley.

    In addition, the 12.3-inch central touchscreen can retract thanks to the Bentley Rotating Display, revealing three analogue dials or a pure veneer depending on the driver’s preferences. The fabric roof can be specified in eight different interior hood lining colours to match with the chosen interior trim.

    Last but not least, Bentley offers three audio systems. The most expensive is a 2200W, 18-speaker Naim system with active bass transducers built into the front seats and eight modes.

    Which one would you prefer?
    Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
    Bentley Continental GT W12 Convertible
    Created with QuizMaker
    Thanos Pappas
    Thanos Pappas is a Design Contributor at CarExpert.
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