The Aston Martin Vantage range is filling out nicely. Last year a manual Vantage was announced and launched, and now, there’s a drop-top Roadster version joining the roster.
Hacking the roof off a sports car is never ideal, of course, but Aston Martin has sought to mitigate the usual convertible drawbacks. The ‘Z-fold’ roof mechanism, for instance, is lighter than its predecessor, meaning the weight gain relative to the coupe is a fairly modest 60kg.
To make sure rigidity doesn’t take too much of a hit either, Aston Martin’s engineers underwent, “careful development of structural shear panels and chassis components”. We’ll be finding out how well that’s worked when the car is launched late April.
The powerplant remains unchanged - the Roadster gets the same 503bhp, 505lb ft Mercedes-AMG-sourced twin-turbo V8 as the coupe. The 0-62mph time has increased by a tenth, but 3.8 seconds to dispatch the benchmark sprint isn’t exactly shabby. The top speed has dropped by 5mph, but again, the resulting figure - 190mph - is not something to be sniffed at.
Keep the speed to 31mph or under, and you’ll be able to raise or lower the roof on the move. It takes 6.7 seconds to go down, and 6.8 seconds to go up, giving it the honour of having “the fastest full operating cycle of any automatic automotive convertible system,” Aston Martin says.
Power goes to the rear-wheel exclusively via an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential. The Roadster is unlikely to ever get the seven-speed manual/mechanical LSD arrangement that’s optional on the Vantage coupe - Aston Martin told us that the stick shift is to be reserved for the more focused tin top.
The drop-top Vantage has the same double-wishbone front, multi-link rear suspension setup of the coupe, although it does get its own “bespoke tune” of the rear shock absorbers, the adaptive damper software and the ESP.
Any other differences? Well, at 200 litres the boot is 70 litres less capacious than the coupe’s and inevitably, the price has increased a bit - from £114,850 to £126,950. In the USA, meanwhile, it’s $161,000. Deliveries will begin during the second quarter of 2020.