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Aston Martin Vantage Roadster offers a route to open skies

4 mins read

The Aston Martin Vantage Roadster whips its top down in just 6.7 seconds, all the better to enjoy a final, joyous fling with combustion

Aston Martin thinks it’s got a pretty good handle on the future. Its first mid-engine machine, the Valkyrie hypercar, is mere months from being delivered to eager customers, and its more ‘affordable’ but no less dramatic sibling, the Valhalla, recently broke cover. The DBX, the company’s first ever SUV, is selling well and clawing back crucial market share. That leaves Aston’s traditional core product, sports cars, next in line for revolution. 

But not so fast. The brutish bravado and old school elegance of a two-seater, front-engined grand tourer is not the place for radical change. At least, not yet. The Aston Martin Vantage marked its third year in production with an edition celebrating the company’s new focus on Formula 1. The Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition takes its styling cues from the official F1 Safety Car (an Aston Martin for the first time ever) and boasts boosted power and a more extreme aero kit than the ‘standard’ car. It is hardly revolutionary, designed to quicken the pulse, not usher in change.  

Aston Martin Vantage Roadster: a visceral pleasure

The company also launched a Roadster version of the Vantage early last year, following its traditional pattern of releasing open-topped variants after their coupé siblings. That launch was delayed, cancelled and somewhat side-lined by the global situation, so instead of experiencing the car on the open desert roads around Palm Springs, we’ve had to contend with the B-roads of Britain in the early summer, with a sky full of bruised and brooding clouds. The latter don’t offer nearly as much opportunity to get the top down, although we should note in passing that the roof mechanism is one of the fastest ever fitted to a convertible, taking just 6.7 seconds to lower (without needing stop the car).

Aston seems to be pushing its mid-engine range as the place to make really bold statements, starting with the aerodynamically driven insanity of the Valkryie. In comparison, the company’s sports and GT cars are more traditionally elegant. The Vantage Roadster’s introduction was accompanied by subtle styling tweaks, most notably a new grille to soften the ‘open mouthed’ look of the original car and hark back to Astons of old. The interior is probably where the Vantage needs more of a boost. Happily, given the extent and depth you can customise an Aston Martin, there’s every opportunity to bring a bit of tasteful harmony to its rather fussy composition of forms and surfaces. That’s not to say it doesn’t help direct your attention to the road ahead, but as it stands its not calm or especially functional. 

Aston Martin Vantage Roadster, from £126,920
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