by Jay Traugott
Aston Martin always builds beautiful cars, and the all-new 2021 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster is another stunning example from Gaydon. Making its official debut a couple of years after its coupe counterpart, the drop-top version of the UK brand's so-called "entry-level" sports car has arrived. Just don't call 503 horsepower entry-level because it's not.
The Aston Martin Vantage and the new Vantage Roadster do cost less than the larger Aston Martin DB11 and Aston Martin DBS Superleggera but still offer a thrilling driving experience. The new Vantage Roadster removes the coupe's fixed roof in place of a fabric roof; folding hardtops are heavy, mechanically complicated, and pricier.
Aston Martin claims the new Vantage Roadster "amplifies" everything about the coupe by still offering a wonderful blend of serious performance, excellent driving dynamics, and everyday usability.
4.0-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
The second-generation Aston Martin Vantage coupe is already a gorgeous piece of machinery, meaning it was nearly impossible for designers to alter this when it came time to slice off its roof. The result is the same general exterior design that won everyone over two years ago and it looks equally beautiful as a convertible.
Aston Martin wisely chose a fabric roof instead of a folding hardtop for the aforementioned reasons. This fabric roof can be lowered in 6.7 seconds or raised in 6.8 seconds which is reportedly the fastest fully operating cycle of any automatic convertible system on a modern vehicle. Impressive. This raising and lowering can be done at speeds up to 31 mph. And speaking of saving weight, the automaker says this top adds only 132 pounds to the vehicle's total weight compared to the Coupe. This was accomplished by using a lighter Z-fold roof mechanism and various chassis revisions. The folded roof is stored behind the seats and the trunk still retains the same seven cubic feet of storage space, which is enough room for a golf bag.
Not surprisingly, the Vantage Roadster's interior is identical to that of the Coupe's. The dashboard, center console, and flat-bottom steering wheel return unchanged. There is one exception, however: the control to raise and lower the roof. And because it's a convertible, there's a pair of buttresses directly behind the seats.
It's also important to point out that also like the Vantage Coupe, the Vantage Roadster is strictly a two-seater. There is no back seat. While this could be a make or break deal for some, it can also be a highlight for others. A roadster is often viewed as a more pure alternative to a typical convertible with a small rear seat. Those who still desire an Aston Martin drop-top but with a couple of rear seats, look no further than the DB11 Volante.
Under the hood lies the same Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0 twin-turbo V8 with 503 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. For now, there is no manual gearbox option, which is now a new 2021 model year option for the Coupe only.
Aston Martin claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds and a blistering top speed of 198 mph.
Those concerned the Roadster will lose some of the Coupe's driving dynamics shouldn't be. The automaker has given the Roadster the same Adaptive Damping, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Torque Vectoring, and Electronic Rear Differential found in the Coupe. However, the Roadster has been given a unique tune for the rear dampers, ESP calibration, and Adaptive Damping System software. Something had to be done to help counteract the slight weight gain and other minor structural changes.
The Sport, Sport + and Track driving modes have all been retuned specifically for the Roadster.
Those who prefer the Vantage Roadster over the Coupe will need to pony up some additional cash. The Roadster will begin at $161,000 while the Coupe carries a $146,000 base price. Very conveniently, deliveries are expected to get underway this summer for all markets.