Aston Martin drivers have always had a special affinity with convertible sports cars – and the famous brand is just as keen never to disappoint them. The new Vantage Roadster will certainly enhance their open-top motoring thrills.
As Aston Martin president and CEO Dr Andy Palmer notes, “For many, driving with the roof down is the true definition of the sports car experience as it truly brings your senses to life. Vantage has always delivered the purest of thrills, but in Roadster form that adrenaline rush is set to go to the next level.” Joining the Vantage Coupé, launched in 2018, the new convertible model delivers the classic Aston Martin blend of potent performance, outstanding dynamics and everyday usability.
“Convertible sports cars are often seen as compromised when compared to their coupé equivalents,” concedes Aston Martin chief engineer Matt Becker, “but the Vantage Roadster remains absolutely dedicated and true to its mission of delivering precise, agile and expressive handling dynamics combined with stonking straight-line performance. And, of course, there’s the added dimension of driving a great sounding sports car with the roof down.”
Powered by Aston Martin’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo 510PS/685Nm V8 engine and mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, the Vantage Roadster accelerates from zero to 60mph (100km/h) in just 3.7 seconds and is capable of 190mph (305km/h) with the roof raised. Weight increases by just 60 kilograms compared with the Coupé thanks to a new, lighter Z-fold roof mechanism and optimised exterior and chassis revisions throughout.
According to Aston Martin, careful development of structural shear panels and chassis components ensures the Vantage Roadster “retains the strong dynamic ability and sporting character achieved in the Coupé with no compromise to feel or refinement”. Sharing the same Adaptive Damping, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Torque Vectoring and Electronic Rear Differential, the Roadster benefits from specific dynamic refinements. These include a bespoke tune for the rear dampers, Adaptive Damping System software and ESP calibration. A choice of Sport, Sport + and Track chassis modes – tuned specifically for the Roadster – gives the driver control of its dynamic character and behaviour.
As for the design of the body, the tautly tailored fabric hood features a compact powered Z-fold mechanism that ensures rapid operation (lowered in 6.7 or raised in 6.8 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph-50km/h). The Vantage Roadster roof is said to have “the fastest full operating cycle of any automatic automotive convertible system”.
A low stack height provides Aston Martin’s design team with the latitude to create a seamless rear profile with minimal impact on the Roadster’s luggage space. With a boot capacity of 200 litres, it is possible, for example, to stow a full-sized golf bag and accessories.
The launch of the Vantage Roadster coincides with a range of new options introduced across the Vantage range. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Vantage nameplate, Aston Martin is introducing the company’s iconic “vane” grille as an option, available on both the Coupé and the Roadster as an alternative to the track-inspired “hunter” grille featured on the Coupé from its launch in 2018.
There is also a new range of optional alloy wheel designs in a choice of finishes, plus a manual 7-speed transmission offered as an option on the Coupé, having initially only been available in the limited-edition Vantage AMR.