Aston Martin Vantage Roadster goes fast, and so does its roof

Jonathon Ramsey

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Two years after the hardtop Aston Martin Vantage redefined the Vantage nameplate yet again, the coupe has dropped its top. Below the shoulder the Vantage Roadster holds true to nearly everything that compelled us to label the coupe "a significant milestone." Above the shoulder, a fabric top envelops an "ultra-compact" Z-frame that drops in 6.7 seconds and unfurls in 6.8. The carmaker says it's the fastest fully electronic mechanism out there, and operates at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour. Thanks to the frame's compact design, the car's lines don't differ much from the hardtop. Nor do the performance specs: The convertible gains 132 pounds over the fixed-roof, needs 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph instead of 3.5, and maxes out at 190 mph, five miles per hour less than the coupe. Losing the rear hatch takes a bit out of luggage space, though, which declines from 12.4 cubic feet to seven. Aston Martin says the cubby will still swallow a full-sized golf bag and related paraphernalia.

The Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 delivers the full 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque. Engineers tuned the suspension, differential, driving aids, and driving modes specifically for the convertible. The carmaker has made its seven-speed manual transmission newly available on the coupe this year — it was offered previously only on the Vantage AMR — but the droptop is barred from the row-your-own party. The Vantage Roadster sticks with the ZF eight-speed automatic. Convertible buyers can avail themselves of other additional kit introduced this year to celebrate 70 years of the Vantage name, said first applied to a more powerful version of the 1951 DB2 called the DB2 Vantage. The potential extras include Aston Martin's historic vane grille as well as new wheel designs.

Deliveries begin in Europe during Q2, U.S. shoppers can expect summer delivery. Pricing starts at $161,000, an $8,000 premium over the coupe.

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