Topless in the snow: Aston Martin V12 Vantage S RoadsterIt might not be the first car you'd think to take out in the snow, but when you have one of the greatest V12-engined convertibles in the world at your disposal, you're not going to let a little cold stop you.
Everyone's a little bit mad. Even you. Every minute of the day your inner monologue is talking to you. Keeping you entertained. Sometimes it can suggest some really silly things but your conscience puts it in its place. There are some people who let their monologue get the better of them on occasion. The really mad people. They seem perfectly fine and then a second later, they turn into something completely different. [MUSIC] Take this Aston Martin for example, it's a V-12 Vantage S roadster and it looks as any Aston Martin should, refined and. Rather dashing. Now, whether you go for the Roadster or the convertible, you're gonna get a rather fine-looking car, though I particularly like the little humps behind the seats in this. It's a nice little detail, even if it does hide rollover hoops. Whichever you get, though, a lot of people are gonna be very, very jealous. Under his blue bird bonnet sits a six liter V12 engine it's huge. That squirts out 565 brake horsepower and 467 pound foot so it's powerful enough for even the most power hungry. It's aggressively disproportionate engine is one of the things that I dearly love about this car. Something this size doesn't need an engine. This big, but the Vantage has one. While others will bolt turbos onto smaller power plants with fewer cylinders, Aston, for now at least, remains firmly old school. Want more power? Well then, have more engine. So here's what's changed between the Coupe and the Roadster. It's got a fold away separate roof that is about it. Really. That roof though has added 80 kilo to its curve weight which means the stats have been ever so slightly affected. Naught to 60 takes .2 of a second longer than it did before. This does it in 3.9 seconds. And it's top speed has fallen from 205 miles an hour. To 201, which is frankly pedestrian. If you want to get to work on time in one of these, then you'll need to leave fractionally earlier. Aston being Aston, it's also been designed to stop. It's got some specially developed carbon-ceramic brakes, which, according to Aston, are related to those found on the vanquished. GT. Noise wise it's got an exhaust that's arrived from that sound on the 177 hyper car which means it sounds ridiculously good. Ridiculously good. If you want to find out what it's like to drive honestly. Take a look at the film we did on the coupe because it is much for matches. There are a couple of differences. Not enormous ones, though. You do get more of the noise. Because the roof is thinner, you hear more. And with the roof off it is glorious. As you can see, the weather we're having here is not roof-down. At all. It doesn't feel quite as solid, it doesn't feel quite as rigid, as the coupe which if you're into really performance driving then that will make a big difference. However, if you look at this car for what it is, which is the convertible version of a very lovely sounding very fast v 12 Aston Martin,. Then slightly less rigidity won't really matter to you, will it? And it shouldn't. This lightly coupe break has all the adaptable traction modes and all the toys you can fiddle with. But in the convertible, you just don't wanna. Bother with it. You don't wanna go. You also have track setting and I'll have the traction control off. All you need to do, which I maintain is Aston's master stroke is press the sport button and you end up with a lovely sounding thing, but you don't have to have the stiff suspension or anything like that. Its gearbox is genuinely atrocious. Last time, I gave it a little bit of slight, because we were having lots of fun. But this time, I don't know whether this one is slightly different from the other one, but I, it's just not very good at all. For a car like this, you want something slick. You compare this to a Porsche 911 when it's PBK. The PDK just slows it hands down. It's so slow to respond. If you want to reverse from having been in drive, you press the button, and wait for the car to go, you want it to go backwards now, don't you? Alright, give me a second, and then you can go in reverse. And when you want to switch back to drive. You press the D button, and it goes, I know, you want to be going forwards, forwards, yeah, okay. We'll do that. And that, eventually, it lets you go forward. The paddles work. You shift up a gear, it doesn't like it unless you lift off a little bit, then it's smooth. Otherwise, it feels like you're driving. Over the globe, changing down lots of lovely noise. Brilliant, but it, it really is this car's Achilles' heel. If the just figured a brilliant gear box, this would be one of the best things in the world, ever. Let's just take a moment to compare the Coupe and the Roadster. Now, the Coupe looks good. Really whatever angle you look at it, it looks good. The Roadster though, have the roof down and it looks beautiful, clean, crisp, like an Aston Martin should. But when you put the roof up, it just looks a little bit awkward. It does to me, at least. I don't know about you, but as you can maybe tell, I live in a place which is very often cold and rainy. So having one of these over here, would mean that it, looks a bit awkward, for most of its life. It's a horses for courses thing, really. I'll always take a coupe over a convertible, unless there's no other option. Some prefer to be topless at every opportunity. Others prefer the look and the perceived better drive of having a roof. I know Aspen is now in bed. With AMG. And that means that it, pretty certain that a future generation of Aston Martins will come with a turbocharged V8. And that's not entirely a bad thing when you think about it. I mean, you get more power, more torque, better mpg, fewer emissions and smaller engine. It's the way the world is going. But there's a part of me that will be sad to see it go. Aston has always been the brute of the posh car scene. You get the look, sure. The materials to make the car feel special and you also get a massive engine, in this case- A 565 break horse power six liter v 12. There's lots of power noise and drama that will lose in the force pursuit of doing the right thing. One day, the last one of these silly engines will turn off for good, a meer echo of what it once was. [NOISE] Now we've had a tiny break in the weather and. The YouTube and online hate would be entirely justified if I didn't take the roof off just a little bit. Even though my little instrument indicator is telling me that I have an ice warning because the temperature is below five degrees, that's pretty much all its said for the last two days. But roof off means you get to hear the V12 just that little bit better. Actually, the roof goes down very quickly. [LAUGH] It's just a. Perfect break in the weather. The sun coming down. The grass looks green. And we get a V12. See, it's when that happens, I don't mind the gearbox. When it makes that noise and it puts that smile on my face, I can forgive the gearbox for being awful. [MUSIC] I love the fact that stuff like this exists. Cuz on the face of it, the Beetle's Advantage S is a very silly thing indeed. It's no bigger than a hatchback. It's rear wheel drive only and it's got a six liter engine. And even if you can't enjoy it directly, very few ever will. Think of it like this. The world we're on right now says that a car like this is perfectly okay to make. And when you think about it that's quite mad. [NOISE]