Aston Martin has been putting cars on the racetrack, in movies and on teenage boys’ walls for more than 100 years; no wonder even people who don’t care about cars can recognize them in an instant. The 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante ($296,000) is just another prince in their royal lineage. From their sporty, beefed-up V12 Vantage that we drove last year to this ultimate grand tourer, Aston Martin has the “beauty and brawn” equation nailed.
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The brand’s gorgeous flagship drop-top continues to find that balance with a 565 V12 that gets to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, thanks mostly to their extensive use of carbon fiber (it’s the first model to use it for every body panel). Even more important, to the brand at least, are perfectly excessive goodies like adaptive suspension dampers, cross drilled rotors with carbon ceramic brakes, 1,000 watts of surround sound oomph from Bang & Olufsen speakers and a full list of very pricey bells and whistles; but hey, being an icon ain’t cheap.