The droptop two-seater sports car shares the same AMG-sourced M177 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine, producing 510 PS and 685 Nm of torque. A rear-mounted eight-speed ZF automatic is standard, enabling the rear-wheel drive Vantage to sprint from 0-97 km/h in 3.7 seconds. Top speed is rated at 306 km/h (with the roof raised), or just 8 km/h shy of the Coupe.
What’s unique about the Vantage Roadster is the lightweight Z-fold mechanised fabric roof, which only increases weight by 60 kg compared to the Coupe. As a result of this, the roof can be lowered in 6.7 seconds, or raised in 6.8 seconds at speeds of up to 50kmh.
Aston Martin claims that this is the fastest operating cycle of any automatic automotive convertible system, which isn’t hard to believe. But just like any folding top mechanism, it eats slightly into the boot space – the Vantage Roadster offers 200 litres of space, down from the Coupe’s 350-litre mark. You could still fit a full-sized golf bag and accessories, though.
This being a convertible, minor chassis revisions had to be done to ensure that rigidity is not compromised. New shear panels have been made, which help retain the Vantage’s dynamic ability and refinement. There’s also the same adaptive dampers, dynamic stability control, dynamic torque vectoring and electronic rear differential as the Vantage Coupe, but tweaked slightly to suit the Roadster. The rear dampers have its own unique tuning, as well as the Adaptive Damping System software and ESP calibration.
Some of the drive modes have also been tuned specifically for the Roadster, such as Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. Aston Martin says despite being a convertible, it still has a “tremendous breadth of ability and feels equally at home on road or race track.”
The cabin is identical to the coupe, and can be customised to anyone’s liking
Along with its debut come a new range of options such as the iconic ‘vane’ radiator grille, new alloy wheel designs, and of course the option of having a seven-speed manual transmission, although this is only available on the Coupe for the time being. The manual gearbox was first introduced on the limited-edition Vantage AMR. This is all part of Vantage’s 70th anniversary celebration, by the way.
Company president and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer said: “Open-top Aston Martins are always firm favourites with our customers, so it’s very exciting to introduce the Vantage Roadster. 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.”
Aston Martin chief engineer, Matt Becker, adds: “Convertible sports cars are often seen as compromised when compared to their Coupe equivalents, but the Vantage Roadster remains absolutely dedicated 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.”
Prices for the Vantage Roadster start from £126,950 (RM681k) in the UK, with first devlieres scheduled to begin in the second quarter of this year. Expect the Vantage Roadster to be displayed at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show next month, before finding its way to Malaysian shores later in the year. Which do you prefer, coupe or convertible?