The Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster | Part Two

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster

Aston Martin Vantage

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 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.

Performance

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 0-62mph achieved in 5.0 seconds (0-60mph in 4.9 seconds) and a potential maximum speed of 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.

Published 15 November 2006 Melanie Carter

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