This Vantage Roadster is beautiful in all its leather-clad glory. My tester wears the gorgeous coloration mixture of Lightning Silver on the surface and Aurora Blue over Ivory Gold Metallic (a flowery method of claiming tan) on the within. New for this yr is an non-compulsory and far improved entrance bumper and grille design. It is a lot prettier than final yr’s look, though I really feel just like the headlights are only a bit too small to make the brand new entrance finish a real dwelling run. Nonetheless, I really like how the doorways tilt barely upward on opening, a quirk that lends a novel contact to the Roadster with out being excessive.
Talking of the highest, the Vantage Roadster’s fabric roof is fast. It may be lowered in 6.7 seconds and raised in 6.Eight seconds at speeds as much as 31 mph. The perfect half is that it does not intrude an excessive amount of into the trunk space. Do not get me mistaken, there’s nonetheless solely about 7 cubic toes of area, however that is sufficient for my hard-sided suitcase and backpack with a little bit of area left over.
The inside can also be low on storage. There is no such thing as a glove field, however there’s a small storage cubby between the seats. The door pockets are large enough for a water bottle, and two cup holders are hidden within the heart armrest. You will probably preserve your telephone and your keys in your pocket or purse, and your purse will most likely simply find yourself on the ground.
Pushed in its default Sport mode, the Mercedes-Benz-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 is comfortable to toddle alongside, the eight-speed automated transmission upshifting early and infrequently to save lots of a little bit of gasoline. There’s a stop-start system that could possibly be smoother, nevertheless it helps the Vantage obtain an EPA-estimated gasoline financial system of 20 mpg mixed, which is simply so-so.
As I strategy correct canyon roads, it is time to change it as much as my alternative of Sport Plus or Monitor mode. The Aston has separate buttons for chassis management and powertrain settings, so I can put the powertrain into Monitor whereas retaining the chassis in Sport to maintain issues from feeling too stiff, however putting every little thing in Sport Plus produces probably the most pleasurable driving expertise. Monitor mode, because the identify rightfully suggests, is method too bonkers for avenue driving.
With 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque headed straight to the rear wheels, I’ve to earn the proper to drive the Vantage Roadster. I take my first canyon-road move fairly simple, reveling within the pops and bangs each time the transmission shifts. The automotive will downshift routinely upon braking in Sport Plus however I may also use the large, fixed-position paddle shifters if I desire a bit extra management.
Exhausting to dislike a blue inside.
I push it a bit extra developing the hill, and that is the place the Vantage Roadster reveals its true colours: It behaves extra like a muscle automotive than a nimble sports activities automotive in all its oversteer-friendly glory. Positive, the steadiness management system ensures I by no means get too out of types, however this automotive is a handful. Fortunately, I’ve acquired some sticky Pirelli P Zero tires (255/40 entrance, 295/35 rear) wrapped round 20-inch wheels. The brakes, that are robust to modulate at slower speeds, are great right here, slowing me down earlier than hairpins with a assured, linear really feel. I am additionally 100% right here for the electrical energy steering, which on this automotive feels surprisingly near a chatty, old-school hydraulic setup. It is refreshing to be in a doozy of a automotive the place I get all of the suggestions I want, with a pleasant weight underhand and correct on-center really feel.
The Vantage Roadster weighs 132 kilos greater than the fixed-roof coupe because of the folding prime mechanism and a few extra chassis-stiffening measures. As such, the great people at Aston tweaked the rear dampers and the steadiness management system to accommodate these additional kilos. In most conditions, you would be hard-pressed to inform the distinction between the 2.
With the canyons behind me, it is time to head to the freeway, and lengthy straights are very pleasant to the Vantage Roadster, too. Accelerating to 60 mph takes simply 3.7 seconds, and it will prime out at 190, however staying throughout the letter of the legislation remains to be a blast. Not like different convertibles, the Vantage does not want an unsightly wind deflector to maintain the bluster out of the cabin. I am nonetheless carrying a hat, however I really feel like I can have a standard shout-free dialog at pace.
You will undoubtedly flip heads in one in all these.
Nonetheless, as a lot enjoyable because the Aston Martin is to drive, count on the inverse with regards to in-car expertise. The one trendy security system I’ve is blind-spot monitoring — there is no lane-keeping help, no lane-departure warning, no adaptive cruise management. The Vantage Roadster’s infotainment system can also be woefully behind the instances. Just like the engine, it is sourced from Mercedes-Benz, nevertheless it’s the outdated COMAND system on an 8-inch display with a rotary dial and clunky handwriting recognition. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are nowhere to be discovered, and whereas Aston Martin guarantees a USB port, it takes a stunning quantity of effort to search out it. Throw in an amazing quantity of buttons — transmission buttons, infotainment buttons, local weather management buttons, you identify it — and the entire thing is sort of a sizzling mess.
Aston Martin will allow you to customise the Vantage Roadster to your coronary heart’s content material with a powerful number of paint colours, inside designs, trim inlays, steering wheel supplies and “inside jewellery,” however with a beginning value of $158,186 together with $3,086 for supply, you will be spending lots to show your temper board into actuality. My tester’s upgrades embody a premium audio system, metallic paint, an non-compulsory vaned grille, a two-tone inside and smoked crimson taillights, sending the sticker to $185,786.
Whereas the Vantage Roadster prides itself on exclusivity, it is not the one droptop efficiency recreation on the town. If you’d like an agile sports activities automotive that is just a little bit simpler to deal with, get your self a Porsche 911 Cabriolet. In case you’re on the lookout for screaming-high revs, go for the Audi R8 Spyder. However if you wish to stand out in a crowd with the solar in your face however the wind barely blowing your hair, the 2022 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster ought to be proper up your alley.