Aston Martin's V12 Vantage Is Back—and Without a Roof

·3 min read
Photo credit: Dominic Fraser
Photo credit: Dominic Fraser
  • With only 249 units set for production, every single model of the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster has been spoken for.

  • Producing 690 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque, the 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 makes this the most powerful Vantage convertible ever sold. A widened chassis and thoroughly re-worked suspension adds about a hundred pounds.

  • All 249 units have been pre-sold and production of the estimated $250,000 convertible will start soon, with first deliveries set for this winter.

Aston Martin is launching a new flagship model in its Vantage lineup, re-introducing V12 power for the first time since 2018. With only 249 units set for production, every single model of the new V12 Vantage Roadster has been spoken for, despite not yet going into production. The V12 Vantage represents a first for the British automaker, never before using a turbocharged V12 powerplant in its convertible Vantage model. With a new wide-body look, widened track, and 200-mph top speed, the new V12 Vantage Roadster is a testament to the model's sleek, luxury performance heritage.

Photo credit: Aston Martin
Photo credit: Aston Martin

Sharing its powertrain with the V12 Vantage Coupe, the 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 pumps out 690 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque through the rear wheels. All that power is fed through an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission and a mechanical limited-slip differential.

This allows the roadster to run a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds. Other performance enhancements include a dampened suspension architecture partially shared with its hardtop sibling and standard six-piston front, and four-piston rear carbon-ceramic brakes. Spring rates have been increased 50% front and 40% rear while the anti-roll bar stiffness has been reduced 41% in the rear and increased 5% up front.

Photo credit: Aston Martin
Photo credit: Aston Martin

These days, performance software can be as important as mechanical hardware. Aston Martin has equipped this car with systems like Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Dynamic Torque Vectoring. One system that is Aston Martin-specific is Positive Torque Control, which can save drivers in low traction situations by adding small throttle input to maintain appropriate front/rear weight distribution.

The Vantage Roadster's design goes beyond just removing the roof. Bigger is better seems to be the motto of Aston Martin's engineers for the convertible version, but these proportional additions weren't done for aesthetics. The track in the roadster chassis is actually 1.6 inches wider than its coupe counterpart, in turn making a new wide-body design necessary. Aston Martin claims this new body design accounts for 476 pounds of additional downforce thanks to the addition of an aerodynamics package. Talk about downforce on a convertible might seem frivolous but this drop-top has been tested up to 200 mph, where a little extra downforce is welcome.

Photo credit: Dominic Fraser
Photo credit: Dominic Fraser

Weight-reduction measures were important to keeping this convertible nimble. From 50.7 pounds of unsprung weight saved by the carbon-ceramic brakes to six-way manually adjusting carbon-fiber seating shaving off 16.1 pounds, the low-end of the curb weight spectrum rounds out to 4089 pounds, a mere 129 pounds more than the V12 Vantage Coupe. Combined with a 51.4/48.6 weight distribution front and rear, the new Vantage should retain its performance reputation, despite losing its roof.

It's not surprising that Aston Martin has created what appears to be an uncompromising performance roadster. The verdict is out until we've had a chance to drive it, but Aston Martin is notorious for creating somewhat larger performance coupes and convertibles that can still hustle.

Production will begin shortly and the company expects to deliver its first units later this year. The Vantage price range starts at $146,986 for the V8 coupe while the cost for a V8 convertible is around $12,000 more, at $158,186. Pricing for the V12 Vantage Convertible has yet to be revealed, but the last one started at $202,000, in 2018. The entirely new chassis combined with an expensive market and inflation will likely lead the new V12 Vantage Roadster into the $250,000 range.