- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 3, 2003

THE HAGUE — It really makes no difference that the media days of the Los Angeles Auto Show are a couple of days earlier than those in Detroit.

Detroit has all the news, or almost all the news. But as car manufacturers are fully aware that the California car market is the car market in the United States, there is always a debut of a couple of interesting cars. Last year it was the Pontiac GTO and the Aston Martin DB AR1.

So I was not surprised when I heard that Aston Martin was going to introduce the convertible of the new DB9 in Los Angeles on Dec. 29. Alas, things have changed and this Ford division will debut the DB9 Volante a week later in Detroit.

In the meantime we have the first official pictures of the Volante that has been developed apart from the Coupe (that debuted in Germany in September).

The soft top opens up and is stowed beneath the hard tonneau cover in 17 seconds.

Just like the Coupe, it has an aluminum body and the 5.9-liter V-12 engine developing 450 horsepower. Its top speed will be somewhat below that of the coupe, which reaches 186 mph, and the acceleration from 0-60 mph will be in less than 5 seconds.

The new Aston Martin will go on sale in the summer of 2004.

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