Aston Martin has historically had a bit of trouble when it comes to offering convertible versions of its vehicles. For example, remember the old Vantage Roadster? Nobody seemed to like that thing overmuch, despite the coupe being great.
Aston is out to break that cycle, though, with the introduction of the brand-spanking-new Vantage Roadster, and at first glance, it looks like it might have been successful in the effort. To start, the engineers from Gaydon worked hard to make sure that the car kept its rigidity when the roof came off. This was accomplished through the use of structural shear panels, which are meant to resist lateral forces.
The additional structure for the car and the addition of a power soft top only adds 132 pounds to the car's curb weight -- something we're happy to see. The Z-fold power soft top itself is pretty neat. It's said to do its folding trick in just seven seconds, which Aston claims is a record for a fully automatic convertible roof.
Under the hood of the Vantage Roadster, we once again find the spectacularly good, 4.0-liter, hot-vee turbocharged V8 that's sourced from AMG. In this guise, the motor is rated for a strong-like-bull 503 horsepower and is paired with the now-ubiquitous eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. That transmission is in basically every car for a reason, and we're glad to see it here, though no manual transmission option is a bummer.
In the electronics department, the Roadster gets the same goodies as the hardtop Vantage, which means you can count on adaptive damping, dynamic stability control, dynamic torque vectoring and an electronic rear differential to save your butt when your ambition exceeds your driving talent. While the systems are the same, they do get tweaked for Roadster duty, which is also lovely to see.
"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," said Matt Becker, Aston Martin chief engineer, in a statement. "And of course, there's the added dimension of driving a great-sounding sports car with the roof down."
The 2021 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster will start at $161,000 and should begin hitting US dealerships sometime during Q3 of this year.