Two years after the release of the Aston Martin Vantage, the convertible Roadster model is here, and it’s one of the big draws at the Beijing Motor Show later this week. The Vantage is Aston’s two seater grand tourer which is just as at home on the track as it is the road, and it’s arguably one of the best looking cars on the market. Since its launch in 2018 the sales have been lower than expected, but the Roadster model could change all that: the UK is the biggest market for convertibles in Europe. Let’s take a closer look at the car.
The Roadster is more or less the normal Vantage but with a retractable roof, which is no bad thing because the Vantage is a stunning car. However, with the release of the Roadster Aston Martin has introduced the option of its iconic ‘vane’ grille across the range, as an alternative to the standard ‘hunter’ grille. There is also a new range of wheel options to choose from. The centrepiece, though, is that roof. Aston Martin assures us that it is the fastest retractable roof on the market, going from closed to fully open in just 6.7 seconds, and can operate at speeds up to 31mph. Amazingly, the addition of the roof mechanism and necessary chassis-strengthening has only added 60kg to the overall weight.
Again, no change from the regular Vantage, which means the Roadster still gets 200 litre storage space and a Mercedes hand-me-down eight-inch infotainment screen, which is controlled via a touchpad on the centre console, rather than using touchscreen functionality. It does come with Apple CarPlay as standard though. Plenty of high end fabrics and soft touch materials go some way to justifying the Roadster’s price tag.
The jewel in the Roadster’s crown is surely its engine: a Mercedes-supplied 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 503bhp, 685Nm of torque, and sounds utterly glorious. It’s mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox which helps the Roadster cover 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of 190mph, with the roof up. The Roadster also has adaptive damping, a torque vectoring system and an electronic rear differential. The rear dampers have been tuned slightly differently to the coupe model to adjust to the extra weight.
The driving dynamics of the car are adjusted via three drive modes - Sport, Sport Plus and Track – which alter the suspension settings and throttle map.
Prices for the Roadster start at £126,950, a premium of £12,000 over the coupe model, and it is available to order now.