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Roadshow Video Reviews
James Bond would never drive this Aston Martin VantageThe 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster is perhaps the most beautiful, and infuriating, car in the world.
The Dukes of Normandy, the bridge on the river Kwai, James Bond movies. Some of the good things that the British had been involved in. So, what the hell happened here? Let's drive the 2012 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster and check the ill conceived poorly executed, overpriced tech. So, what is an Aston Martin Vantage? It's the smallest Aston Martin. The handmade car and this one's a roadster. We've a got a cloth power top. Nothing too tricky. Not a metal retractable but it works well, gets out of the way and leaves you with a small but usable trunk. So, if the looks of this car all it's got going for it, let me show you all the things it doesn't have going for it. Starting with that, the insult. Who the hell puts that in a car like this? This tells me one of two things. Either Aston Martin is so stupid, they don't know that that is a horrendous interface or they're smearing at their customer saying of give them the little screen like their little iPhone gadget. Technology is not a gadget anymore guys. It's essential to your product. Now this little helper display does all your media and telephony. It's glare filled, very small and runs an awful lot into a small place. My climate control status, outdoor temperature, phone status, where the winds blowing, do I have Dolby PL2 on and my source and content read out. You can do Bluetooth calls in this car but that's optional. I mean after all it's only 136 grand. Let's not throw in the Bluetooth. You won't be streaming Bluetooth stereo audio because that's simply not available. So go ahead and put your phone down here on the phone cradle, except it won't fit and then there's this, what is this? I have no idea. I scoured the manual, I tried fitting it everywhere, it doesn't really fit anywhere. It might just be a sex toy, the last reviewer left here. This is called the trinket holder. In other words, this is where you put your wedding ring when you're out at the bar cruising for cougars. Behind here are some strange little (ventricles?). There's one behind me here that has the world's crappiest toolkit and then there's one over here that goes to nothing. Check this out. Very nice, fancy cigarette lighter holder, except it's not. It's the wrong diameter. Apparently, that's a special custom holder for a (Lammy?) brand pen which the last reviewer apparently stole. Now Aston does this bizarre thing with transmission and key. They make this obsessively fancy crystal key. They also have something called the Emotion Controller. It's right here on the manual. They don't tell you what it is and as far as I know it's unicorn. You put this thing in to start the car and hold it down and then the world's strangest transmission controller, reverse, start, neutral, drive in this weird sort of layout with the key in the middle. Once you get the car up and running, you look over the instrument panel, you look at your gauges and you get mad. Look at the fuel gauge or the temperature gauge, they use white markings on a bright aluminum vessel. You can read the markings in any conditions. So, all I can tell is that I'm somewhere between full and empty. The speedometer goes to 220. The car goes to 180. You'll be going to maybe 100. So why waste all that space on the gauge making it impossible to tell if I'm going 55? The best I can tell is I'm in between 40 and 60. The tachometer goes counterclockwise. Does anything else in the Western world increase going counterclockwise? The final insult in this vehicle is you're prepared to pull away is that you really don't fit. We have the top down for shooting the video but I still have the top down even in the rain because that's the only way I fit in this car. This car is for little men. Before we hit the road, let's check out the engines bay. The story does brighten considerably. This is one beautiful motor. It's a real engine. It's made of real engine parts. I'm not seeing tons of plastic shrouds everywhere. 4.7 liter (V8) as you can see, 420 horsepower, about 346 (??) pounds of (torque?). Get this 3700 pound car to 60 in about 4.7 seconds while delivering 1421 MPG. Bad enough to earn you $1300 gas guzzler tax. However, the weight of this car is actually pretty (??) given what it is. Part of that is what you see in here. In the engine bay, you can pick up on the aluminum, magnesium, the bonded construction, some steel panels, all kinds of different constructions technology puts this car together and it's really quite impressive on that aspect. So, here is where the real trouble of this car arrives, when you're driving, remember we have this 6 speed dual clutch automated manual transmission. Apparently, dating from the 90's, it's a piece of crap. The car falls flat on its face between every gear. I don't care if you're heavy on the throttle, light on the throttle, fairly on the throttle, middle on the throttle, (??) shifting in the paddle, regular mode, sport mode. This thing drives like a 15 year old learning to drive a stick. It's a disaster. The brutal shame is this car handles really well and I think it's got a great engine. I have no idea. I can't get to the engine 'cause this car gearbox is completely in the way. I'm just really shocked this car was approved for production and I am being quite hones. Put to current sport mode here it does remaps of throttles so you get more aggressive acceleration. It supposedly unleashes more (torque?). I'm not sure what it does there but it (rematch?) the (vault ring?) and it also opens up some (valving?) in the exhaust system to give it a real float. Now as you can see, this car rides like a truck and there is no suspension settings on it. Just the suspension, sporty, really hard. So, here in lies a broken car which for 100 something thousand dollars is inexcusable and I know this car is handmade and that counts for something, I guess but for this day and age, it's no longer quaint to have things that creak and rattle and weird wind noise back here. That's just not funny anymore. It's not charming. Despite this Vantage Roadster, about 140,000 with delivery of $2100 and gas guzzler tax of $1300 then there is some options 750 for Bluetooth. Really? I'm pretty sure I'm reading the option sheet right, with that navigation thingy is 2700. Who price this stuff, (Penny Youngman?)? Now save yourself $5,000 by getting rid of that Soviet era gearbox and going with the standard 60 (Manu?). The other thing we have is the $1600 Aston Martin Premium (Set?). It sounds pretty good. I can't imagine you wanna step up $8300 more for the banging (Alasen?) system in an open car.