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Late last month, VIPs got a sneak peek, and today Aston Martin officially pulled the wraps off its new V8 Vantage Roadster for the rest of us to enjoy. The subject of innumerable spy photos and fanboy drooling, the beautiful baby Aston's looks are made even better when its triple-layer top is neatly stowed under its hard tonneau. Should the weather should become less than perfect, raising it back up is an 18-second operation that can be done on the fly as long as you don't exceed 30 mph.
And when the roof's closed, there's no need to worry about the car's looks. The AM designers and engineers have worked it so that the soft top's roofline apes that of the Vantage coupe. When it's dropped, a pair of leather "speed humps" that match the car's interior color add visual interest to the rear deck. The rest of what you see is pure V8 Vantage -- the muscular stance, the slick taillamps, the wheels -- they're all here, blessedly unchanged. Some things shouldn't be messed with, and the car's appearance didn't need to be doctored up to give the roadster some additional presence. The simple act of lowering the roof achieves that goal.
The convertible was developed at the same time as the coupe, and as such it shares the fixed-roof car's rigid structure. The 380-horsepower all-alloy V8 pulls the 3769 lb. roadster to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 175. Buyers get to choose between a traditional 6-speed manual or Aston Martin's paddle-operated Sportshift transmission. Want one? You've got to wait until Q2 2007, and be prepared to pay a substantial premium over the coupe's $110,000 starting price.
Beauty, competent performance, and the cachet that comes with the Aston Martin name align once again in the form of the V8 Vantage Roadster, an object of desire that will quickly find its way into the sun-drenched fantasies of dreamers ... and the garages of the ones with the means to make them come true.
(Press release, technical specifications, photo gallery all after the jump)
[Source: Aston Martin]
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Aston Martin Launches the V8 Vantage Roadster
Los Angeles – Aston Martin will unveil one of the most eagerly anticipated convertibles of the year when the V8 Vantage Roadster is revealed at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday 29th November.
Aston Martin Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez said: "The V8 Vantage Roadster is a pure sports car, a car that heightens the senses and provides a dynamically thrilling driving experience.
"The Vantage Roadster adds to the unbeatable thrill of open air motoring and by combining engineering excellence, technological innovation and physical perfection, will ensure every journey is one to remember."
Perfectly proportioned, with a low purposeful stance, the Vantage Roadster is uncompromisingly modern yet also incorporates classic Aston Martin design cues. The elegant lines are fused with traditional craftsmanship and striking 21st century style, with an interior hand-trimmed and finished in the finest quality genuine materials.
The Vantage Roadster will be built at Aston Martin's global headquarters at Gaydon, near Warwickshire in the UK, joining the current Aston Martin line-up. This now comprises the flagship Vanquish S, the elegant DB9 and the agile V8 Vantage Coupe.
The design of the Vantage Roadster is elegant and uncompromising, a single fluid form with characteristic attention to detail, both inside and out, representing the open sports car in its purest form.
The Vantage Roadster represents the latest evolution of Aston Martin's synthesis of craft and technology. From the beautifully hand stitched leather seats to the hand-finished bodies, to the ultra-modern Aston Martin V8 engine, hand-assembled at a dedicated, high-technology facility in Cologne, Germany, the Vantage Roadster is an exclusive, advanced and uniquely desirable sports car.
The three-layer fabric hood gives a taut, aggressive appearance when closed and when folded, the flow from front to rear is smooth and elegant, enhanced by the leather speed humps that create a unique transition between interior and exterior. Even in convertible form the Roadster retains the critically acclaimed design of the Vantage Coupe. The hood is stowed neatly beneath the rear tonneau cover and is either opened or closed at the press of a button located on the centre console, in just 18 seconds, and at speeds of up to 30mph (50km/h) with no manual intervention required.
Offered with an imaginative combination of different leathers, contemporary fabrics and aluminium, Vantage Roadster customers will have an extensive choice of body and trim colours from which to choose.
Developed from the outset alongside the V8 Vantage Coupe which was launched in 2005, the Roadster shares the unique-to-Aston Martin bonded aluminium VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture – the backbone to all modern Aston Martins. Adding to this structure, sophisticated materials such as lightweight alloys, magnesium and advanced composites are used for the body, further contributing to the car's low weight and high rigidity.
Driver and passenger sit low, close to the car's centre of gravity, where they can feel the car reacting to the input of the driver – a special sensation, usually only experienced in racing cars – providing a direct and sporting connection between car and driver.
Despite the additional mechanism associated with the Vantage Roadster's convertible roof and the additional body stiffness, Aston Martin's engineering team have ensured only a minimal weight increase to preserve the agile and sporting characteristics of the V8 Vantage Coupe. At just 4.38 metres (172.5 in) long, Vantage Roadster remains not only the smallest model in the Aston Martin range but also one of the leanest cars in its class.
The Vantage Roadster delivers exceptional performance with careful development and engineering ensuring that the Roadster equals the achievements of its Coupe sibling, with 0-100km/h (62mph) achieved in 5.0 seconds (0-60mph in 4.9 seconds) and a potential maximum speed of 280km/h (175mph).
Vantage Roadster will be available with two transmission alternatives from launch. Offered as standard is the fast-shifting, six-speed Graziano conventional stick-shift manual gearbox, with ratios perfectly matched to the performance of the V8 engine. This is joined by Aston Martin's new Sportshift automated manual transmission – an ultra-quick system that provides the driver with heightened precision via fingertip control of gear changes using paddles to progress smoothly and swiftly through the ratios.
Deliveries of the V8 Vantage Roadster are expected to commence during quarter two 2007, with prices to be confirmed at a later date.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster Specification
Two-seat, two-door body with soft cover convertible top and heated glass rear screen. Bonded aluminium structure. Aluminium alloy, steel, composite, and magnesium alloy body. Extruded aluminium side impact bars and integral rollover bars. Halogen projector headlamps. LED rear lamps.
Aston Martin all-alloy quad overhead camshaft 32 valve, 4.3 litre V8. Variable inlet camshaft timing. Dry sump lubrication system. Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves. Front mid-mounted engine. Rear-wheel drive.
Rear mid-mounted six-speed manual with optional Sportshift automated manual transmission. Alloy torque tube with carbon-fibre propeller shaft. Limited slip differential. Final drive ratio 3.909:1.
Rack and pinion power-assisted steering, 3.0 turns lock to lock. Column reach and tilt adjust.
Wheels and Tyres
Standard: 18 inch alloy wheels – 10-spoke design – Front: 8.5J x 18 inch / Rear: 9.5J x 18 inch. Bridgestone Potenza tyres – Front: 235/45 ZR18. Rear: 275/40 ZR18.
Optional: 19 inch alloy wheels – seven-spoke design – Front: 8.5J x 19 inch / Rear: 9.5J x 19 inch. Bridgestone Potenza tyres – Front: 235/40 ZR19. Rear: 275/35 ZR19.
Optional: Pirelli P-Zero Corsa sports tyres – Front: 245/40 ZR19. Rear: 285/35 ZR19
Front: Independent double aluminium wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil over aluminium monotube dampers and anti-roll bar.
Rear: Independent double aluminium wishbones incorporating longitudinal control arms, coil over aluminium monotube dampers and anti-roll bar.
Radial-mounted four-piston monobloc callipers. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). Traction Control. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). Positive Torque Control.
Front: Ventilated and grooved steel discs – 355mm diameter
Rear: Ventilated and grooved steel discs – 330mm diameter
Full grain leather interior. Gunmetal facia. Graphite interior fittings. Electrically adjustable seats. Automatic temperature control. Heated rear screen. Reversing sensors. Battery Disconnect Switch (BDS). Trip computer. Dual stage driver and passenger airbags. Side airbags. Alarm and immobiliser. Tyre pressure monitoring.
160W Aston Martin Audio System with six CD autochanger.
Sportshift automated manual transmission. Xenon (HID) headlamps including power wash. Bright finish grille. Piano Black facia trim. Alternative brake calliper finish (black, red, silver). Heated seats. Cruise control. Passenger seat height adjustment*1. Memory seats (3 positions). Battery conditioner. Powerfold exterior mirrors. Auto dimming interior rear view mirror*1. Auto dimming interior rear view mirror with garage door opener*1. Voice activated Bluetooth telephone preparation*1. Integrated GSM telephone*1. Satellite navigation system with optional Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC)*1. Tracking device*1/2. Alarm upgrade (volumetric & tilt sensors). Smokers pack. Sports tyres. 19 inch alloy wheels – seven-spoke design, with silver finish. 19 inch alloy wheels – seven-spoke design, with anthracite finish. Front wheel stone guards. Personalised sill plaques. First aid kit*1. Umbrella & holder. 700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby Pro Logic II. Wind deflector.
1865mm (exc. Mirrors)
2025mm (inc. Mirrors)
Fuel tank capacity
283kW (380 bhp) @ 7000 rpm
410 Nm (302 lb.ft) @ 5000 rpm
0-60mph – 4.9 seconds
0-100km/h – 5.0 seconds
175mph (280 km/h)