Aston Martin V-8 Vantage Roadster -- 2007 Preview: With or without a fixed top, the Vantage is a potent blend of style, sophistication and performance. While it may not generate the fastest acceleration times or highest g-loads in a corner, the sum of the parts is much more satisfying than any spec sheet numbers. The downside, of course, is price. The Vantage Coupe costs $110,000, and the Roadster will certainly come in comfortably above that. And then there is Aston Martin's infamous reliability. Performance comes from a 4.3-liter 380-horsepower engine mounted behind the front axle and one of two six-speed transmissions ahead of the rear axle. This gives the Vantage excellent weight distribution.
The Vantage is the first Aston Martin in decades to offer a well-rounded performance package along with its mouth-watering looks. Despite a deficit against much of its competition when it comes to the performance spec sheet, it works together so well that it remains a top pick. It's more expensive, but it's also more exclusive. The 2007 Aston Martin V-8 Vantage Roadster expands this in the only way possible, by removing the top. Not only does it make a stunning car even more dramatic, it has the byproduct of eliminating one of the Coupe's few shortcomings, poor outward visibility.
Removing the top on a coupe as elegant as the Vantage without horribly botching the design is a tall order. Thankfully, such a disaster was averted in the case of the Vantage Roadster. Top down, and it's hard to imagine the Vantage in any other form. Even with the cloth top up, the Vantage Roadster still captures the imagination. The top raises or lowers in just 18 seconds, and can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph.
Just look at the pictures. If this car doesn't stir something in you, check your pulse because you just might be dead.
Aston Martin Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Bez is not exactly modest when extolling the Vantage Roadster's virtues, saying that the Vantage Roadster's attributes will "ensure every journey is one to remember." It's a heck of a boast, but why not. We'd be hard pressed to imagine a time when owners would become complacent with their Vantage Roadsters.
What is there to say about one of the world's most beautiful cars? Forcing our objectivity back into line, we have to throw in the caveat emptor about Aston Martin's famously unreliable machines. "Beautiful but delicate" comes to mind. But if your heartstrings are tugged hard enough, and you have the cash, we won't try to talk you out of anything.
Except maybe your keys.