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Car Review

Aston Martin Vantage Roadster review

£126,950 - £148,050
810
Published: 22 Sep 2020
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

The Vantage coupe, while extremely finessed compared to Astons of yore, didn’t quite do enough to topple a comparative Porsche 911 or Mercedes-AMG GT (or, for that matter, a temptingly close on price McLaren) when we pitted it against its rivals at launch.

But all your worries about its dynamic acuity – and life in general – will simply blow away in the breeze as you retract the roof. It remains about as sharp and honed as modern Astons get, and we’d swear some of the screws have been tightened since launch. It’s still a bit dumber and less precise than the equivalent Porsche or McLaren, but it doesn’t necessarily feel worse, just different.

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Open the roof, work the V8 hard and you’ve a hot rod with manners. It grips well for its considerable muscle – peak torque arrives at just 2,000rpm – and the gearbox reacts neatly and boasts decently stacked ratios for road use. Drive an open-top McLaren with a little vigour and you dangle your driving licence above a shredder, but you can use a reasonable amount of performance here without being silly.

And yes, the noise is something to behold. Kept in Sport, Vantage is quiet, subdued and shuffles up to seventh gear by 35mph, making a mockery of Aston’s naming structure – in the DB11, this would be GT mode.

So you flick to Sport+ if you want a healthy dose of brooding anger and some pleasingly natural pops and bangs as you work the transmission. Track mode is way over the top, mind, its minor aural explosions choreographed and just plain uncouth for such a pretty, classy little vehicle. Keep both engine and damping in Sport+ – or slacken the dampers off to their comfiest – and you’re set. You still toggle the two separately via a pair of steering wheel buttons, thus configuring the Vantage’s behaviour to your own desires is a thousand times easier than via the sub-menus of numerous rivals. Bravo, Aston.

It’s a convertible, so we must talk shake ‘n’ shimmer. There’s a little detectable wobble in the steering wheel every now and then – and the odd creak from the interior – but there’s no disruption to the car’s handling and it’s all offset by how much prettier this car looks minus a roof, and how much lighter it is as a soft (rather than hard) top.

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Highlights from the range

the fastest

Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition 2dr ZF 8 Speed Auto
  • 0-623.7s
  • CO2
  • BHP535
  • MPG
  • Price£148,050

the cheapest

Aston Martin Vantage 2dr ZF 8 Speed Auto
  • 0-623.8s
  • CO2
  • BHP510
  • MPG
  • Price£126,950

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