For those who want a helping of open-top, British touring comfort served up with their sports car, Aston Martin has just revealed the roadster version of its already-excellent 2020 Vantage. In short: It sounds amazing, it’s not German, and its fabric top folds very quickly.
The Vantage Roadster loses a hair of straightline performance to its coupe sibling: it’s .1 seconds slower to 60 mph and tops out at 190 mph, 5 below the coupe. However, Aston’s quite proud that the weight penalty for topless cruising is a mere 132 pounds (60 kg), thanks to various folding bits and the obligatory chassis reinforcements. Since you can close that z-fold fabric top in under seven seconds, you’ll have all the more time to savor that 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8.
Which, yes, comes from Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division, as does a conspicuous Vantage competitor, the AMG GT. Based on our experience with the 2020 Vantage coupe, however, the GT Roadster and the Vantage Roadster will have distinctly different temperaments, largely thanks to their different gearboxes. (The Benz gets a seven-speed dual-clutch unit, while the Aston gets a eight-speed ZF with torque-vectoring.) There shouldn’t be much confusion between the two, and if some GT owner gives you lip (and drag racing isn’t an option), you can kindly remind them that you spend roughly 4.3 fewer seconds waiting for your daily dose of vitamin D.
Speaking of transmissions, don’t expect the Vantage Roadster to come with a manual option. Aston Martin announced that the seven-speed manual unit is now available on the Vantage coupe—before, it was exclusive to the range-topping, limited-edition AMR—but mentioned only an automatic ’box for the convertible.
Aston’s also fiddled with the rear dampers and recalibrated the adaptive damping software, though without some time behind the wheel, we don’t know exactly what that translates to. What is more obvious, for the time being, is the choice of grill. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Vantage nameplate, you now can choose between a wide-hatched “vane” grille or a denser, mesh “hunter” option trimmed with an integrated front splitter. Setting aside this rare bird, the hatched look is a bit nostalgic.
Would you choose the 2020 Vantage Roadster over an AMG GT Roadster? What about a 911 Turbo S Cabriolet—or perhaps a Continental GT convertible or even a Lexus LC500? Let us know below.