Cars Aston Martin shaves the roof off its Vantage to create the 190mph Roadster - but heaps another £12,000 on to the asking price
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If driving with the top down at speeds of up to 190mph is the exciting wind-in-the hair sensation you are seeking, Aston Martin's new £127,000 Vantage Roadster may be for you.
Though driving at that speed is legal only on a German Autobahn or a track – and would lose you your licence, though not your hair, on any UK road - the roof will nevertheless open and close anywhere in under seven seconds and at speeds of up to 30mph.
The new Vantage Roadster is launched today as a convertible which Aston Martin says combines 'uncompromising performance with pure emotion', with first deliveries from autumn this year. However, it will come at a serious premium over the coupe model...
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Powered by a 4.0-litre 510 horsepower V8 engine twin-turbo linked to a slick eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and riding on 20-inch wheels, it will accelerate from rest to 60mph in just 3.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 190mph with the roof raised.
That's just 0.2 seconds slower than the Coupe with a top speed of 195mph.
The firm's engineering boss said it would give owners precise, agile and expressive handling, 'stonking straight-line performance' , plus the added bonus of 'driving a great-sounding sports car with the roof down'.
But it's a thirsty beast averaging just 24.4 miles to the gallon with hefty CO2 emissions of 262g/km.
2020 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster teased
2020 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster teased The forthcoming 2020 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster has been revealed in a series of official images released by the manufacturer. The latest convertible to join the Aston Martin line-up will be a direct rival for the McLaren 570S Spider and Porsche 911 Cabriolet when it arrives in showrooms in early 2020. Pricing has not yet been announced, but you can expect it to cost more than the coupe, which starts from £120,900.The new Vantage Roadster will boast a folding fabric roof that features a new compact design.
Depending on their mood or activity, drivers have a choice of specially tuned Sport, Sport+ and Track chassis modes which offer them the ability to progressively increase the car's overall responsiveness and excitement.
Despite the extra engineering required to keep an convertible stiff and safe on the road, the new Vantage Roadster weighs 1628kg, just 60kg more than the Coupe, thanks in part to the lighter folding roof mechanism and revisions throughout to the chassis and exterior.
However, a manual seven-speed gearbox now offered as an option on the Coupe, won't be available with the Roadster.
With a starting price from £126,960, the Vantage Roadster joins its Coupe sibling, which was launched in 2018 and costs from £114,850 – but with a premium of more than £12,000.
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Though expect to pay much more if adding bespoke sport and luxury extras such as sports-plus seats and carbon-fibre interiors.
The taut and tailored black fabric roof has a compact powered Z-fold mechanism which means it can be lowered in 6.7 seconds or raised in 6.8 seconds.
Aston Martin says: 'The roof of the Vantage Roadster has the fastest full operating cycle of any automatic automotive convertible system.'
The low 'stack-height' of the roof means the Roadster can maintain its low and 'seamless' profile and aerodynamic integrity, says Aston Martin. It also has minimal impact on the Roadster's luggage space which has a boot capacity of 200 litres – or enough to stow a full-sized golf bag plus accessories.
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Price: from £126,950
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Italian design house Zagato marks its centenary with bespoke versions of the Aston Martin Vantage V12, built in the UK by R-Reforged.Based on the 2011 V12 Vantage coupe and Roadster, the Zagato Heritage Twins come as a pair. A total of 38 will be sold to 19 customers, with the majority already spoken for.
Convertible premium: £12,100 premium over the Coupe)
On sale: now
First delivers: Autumn 2020
Built: Gaydon, Warwickshire
Width (including mirrors): 2152mm
Weight: 1628kg (60kg more than Coupe)
Top speed: 190mph (compared to 195mph for coupe)
Acceleration: 0-60mph: 3.7 seconds (compared to 3.5 seconds for coupe)
0-62mph: 3.8 seconds.
Engine: 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 510 horsepower (PS) / 503bhp Gears: 8-speed automatic ZF
Wheels: 20-inch 10 spoke. Pirelli P Zero tyres.
Average fuel consumption: 24.4mpg
Fuel tank capacity: 73 litres
CO2 emissions: 262g/km
Fabric Z-fold roof: Lowered: 6.7 seconds Raised: 6.8 seconds Both at speeds of up to 31mph.
Luggage capacity: 200 litres (enough for golf bag)
Built at Gaydon in Warwickshire, the launch coincides with a new range of options introduced across the Vantage range. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Vantage nameplate, this includes the firm's traditional horizontal 'vane' grille as an option as an alternative to the track-inspired shark-like 'hunter' mesh grille which has featured on the coupe since launch.
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It shares the same hi-tech electronic braking, stability and handling support as the coupe – such as Dynamic Stability Control – but also benefits from some bespoke tuning as well as roll-over safety hoops.
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Aston Martin said: 'The heartbeat of Aston Martin's sports car range just got that little bit faster. This convertible model amplifies the emotional appeal of a model renowned for delivering a compelling blend of potent performance, outstanding dynamics and everyday usability.'
'Vantage Roadster retains the strong dynamic ability and sporting character achieved in the Coupe with no compromise to feel or refinement'.
Aston Martin president and chief executive officer Dr Andy Palmer said: 'Open-top Aston Martins are always firm favourites with our customers, so it's very exciting to introduce the Vantage Roadster.
'For many, driving with the roof down is the true definition of the sports car experience as it truly brings your senses to life.
' Vantage has always delivered the purest of thrills, but in Roadster form that adrenaline rush is set to go to the next level.'
The firm's chief engineer Matt Becker added: 'Convertible sports cars are often seen as compromised when compared to their coupe equivalents, but the Vantage Roadster remains absolutely dedicated true to its mission of delivering precise, agile and expressive handling dynamics combined with stonking straight-line performance.
'And of course, there's the added dimension of driving a great-sounding sports car with the roof down'.
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