Aston Martin Vantage Roadster: a hot rod with manners

Aston Martin’s Vantage Roadster is a majestic convertible with a top speed of 190mph, says Nicole Garcia Merida

As surely as summer follows winter, a convertible Aston Martin follows a coupé, says Top Gear –“often looking even prettier in the process”. That is the case for the new Vantage Roadster. If “you need a minute to just gawp at it, please treat yourself”. 

The spec sheet is “as per the vantage coupé”; a twin-turbo V8 takes the car from zero to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, and to a top speed of 190mph. The retractable top gives the car its best, “if most niche”, statistic: the roof can retract in just under seven seconds, making it the quickest roof cycle in the industry. “Mock all you want, but in Britain’s endlessly indecisive climate”, this is far more important than the top speed. Luckily, there is a “decent array of cubby holes inside… should rain fall before you have a chance to slow to 30mph to stow the roof”. 

As the car is a convertible, there is the occasional “wobble” in the steering wheel; but this has no impact on its handling, “and it’s all offset by how much prettier this car looks minus a roof”. Once you open it, work the V8 hard and “you’ve got a hot rod with manners”. 

When it comes to stepping on the accelerator, “it does the lovely thing that Astons do rather well”, says Matt Prior on AutoCar. The Vantage “lets you turn into a corner with reassuring responses and drive out with the broad powerband troubling the rear tyres as little or much as you choose”.

On a sunny day, with the hood down, the Roadster feels “majestic” to drive, adds Steve Sutcliffe on AutoExpress. Ironically, however, it sounds best with the hood up; “louder and fruitier than in the coupe”, the V8 delivers thunderous performance that is “just about lag-free” with immense acceleration. Still, only with the hood down does the driver get to hear “the full range of crackles and bangs from the exhaust on overrun”. 

The Roadster takes the fight right to the front door of its German rivals. While expensive, it’s “quick, capable, and extremely desirable… a tasty piece of kit in its own right”. Sport, Sport+ and Track drive modes can be dialled up separately, which allows for several different types of comfortable rides. 

Just like the coupe before it, the roadster is an “emotion play; you buy it because you want it and because of the statement it makes”, says Steven Ewing on Road Show. The car will be “totally familiar” to those who have driven the hard top, but if you’re all about that “wind-in-your-hair” feeling, you could certainly do worse than the Vantage. 

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