For a few years now, Aston Martin's GT cars have all been powered by V-12 engines and have been priced around the $200,000 mark. But the new V8 Vantage, available in Coupe and Roadster form, gives the company a more accessible model. The Coupe starts at $116,670 and the Roadster at $131,170. Still pricey, but a lot less than other models bearing the Aston Martin wings.
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Styling remains excellent on the V8 Vantage Roadster, with classic proportions and a sleek profile.
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The new V-8 engine displaces 4.7 liters and makes 420 horsepower, but does not employ newer technologies such as direct injection.
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The car, in classic roadster fashion, only seats two.
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The cloth convertible top rises at the touch of a button, or folds itself away underneath a tonneau cover behind the seats.
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Black brake calipers are a $1,020 option on the V8 Vantage Roadster.
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The fixed suspension is very rigid, as is the body, making the car handle very well in turns.
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The trunk does not offer much room, just enough for an overnight bag. Get ready to share luggage.
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The cabin is made up of natural materials, leather and metal, with few plastics in evidence.
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Pop-up roll bars behind the seats protect the occupants' heads in a rollover.
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The steering wheel has a heavy feel, and delivers very precise control.
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The phone button activates a voice command system.
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This little knob at the bottom of the stack controls all of the car electronics, but not very well.
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Aston Martin went with a Garmin navigation system, which seems a bit cheap for a car priced well over $100,000.
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The Garmin system shows traffic data, but does not have 3D maps.
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Aston Martin went with monochrome menus on the Garmin system that more closely match the other displays in the car.
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The display shows the phone menu, with the address book, recent calls, and the Bluetooth connection menu.
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Although the V8 Vantage Roadster comes with iPod integration, it does not have Bluetooth audio streaming or onboard music storage.
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Browsing a music library is tedious on this small screen.
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Along with song data, this three-line display also shows climate control and phone information.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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