Aston Martin Opens Up with Vantage Roadster

Aston Martin is blowing the top of the Vantage, adding a roadster to the company's lineup. If the 503 hp V8 isn't enough, Aston says it's the fastest automatic convertible top in the business.

The new two-seat Vantage rolled into showrooms in 2018, using the DB11's platform and wearing Aston's sleek new styling. Now the British automaker is taking the top off of the coupe to deliver a high-performance roadster model.

Aston says that the car's aluminum structure is designed to make sure that the dynamics of the convertible don't suffer and that it is as refined as the hardtop version. The two-seater gets a power-folding top that's able to drop in just 6.7 seconds and can go back up in 6.8, at speeds up to 50 km/h. Aston Martin says is the "fastest full operating cycle of any automatic automotive convertible system."

Because it's not the performance of the roof that matters most to buyers, the Vantage Roadster comes with the same 503 hp, 4.0L twin-turbo V8 as the coupe. It's linked with an eight-speed automatic and can hit 100 km/h from a stop in 3.7 seconds, or about half a roof fold, just a couple of tenths slower than the closed-top car. Thanks to a new roof mechanism and other chassis revisions, the Roadster weighs just 60 kg more than the coupe. Luggage space is also generous, at least for this class, with 200L of space and enough room for a golf bag.

Chopping the roof and adding a new, longer trunk lid changes the proportions of the Vantage substantially, moving it from a sleek but balanced bubble of a coupe to a long-nosed sports car. It's a more aggressive balance and one that greatly complements the car's lines. This one's a looker.

The Vantage Roadster shares its suspension components with the Coupe, including the same adaptive damping system as well as the electronic, torque-vectoring rear differential that can divert power as needed to maximize traction and improve handling. The Roadster does get some slight changes like a new tuning of the rear dampers and the stability software. Sport, Sport +, and Track modes each offer different tuning of the chassis and power delivery depending on the driver's intent.

Changes to the rest of the 2021 Vantage lineup include a new version of the company's Vane grille that's an option to celebrate 70 years of the Vantage name. New alloys are available and a seven-speed manual is now available on the standard Coupe and not just the limited-edition Vantage AMR. The Vantage Roadster is set to start deliveries in North America the third quarter of this year.

Quick car, quicker top 2/11/2020 7:00:00 PM