Aston Martin, Cars, International News

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster debuts – gets AMG’s 4.0L V8, 510 PS & 685 Nm, 0-60 mph in 3.7s!


After giving us an early glimpse of the car last October, British luxury automaker Aston Martin has finally unveiled the Vantage Roadster, which joins the Coupe model launched in 2018.

The droptop two-seater sports car shares the same AMG-sourced M177 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine, producing 510 PS and 685 Nm of torque. A rear-mounted eight-speed ZF automatic is standard, enabling the rear-wheel drive Vantage to sprint from 0-97 km/h in 3.7 seconds. Top speed is rated at 306 km/h (with the roof raised), or just 8 km/h shy of the Coupe.

What’s unique about the Vantage Roadster is the lightweight Z-fold mechanised fabric roof, which only increases weight by 60 kg compared to the Coupe. As a result of this, the roof can be lowered in 6.7 seconds, or raised in 6.8 seconds at speeds of up to 50kmh.

Aston Martin claims that this is the fastest operating cycle of any automatic automotive convertible system, which isn’t hard to believe. But just like any folding top mechanism, it eats slightly into the boot space – the Vantage Roadster offers 200 litres of space, down from the Coupe’s 350-litre mark. You could still fit a full-sized golf bag and accessories, though.

This being a convertible, minor chassis revisions had to be done to ensure that rigidity is not compromised. New shear panels have been made, which help retain the Vantage’s dynamic ability and refinement. There’s also the same adaptive dampers, dynamic stability control, dynamic torque vectoring and electronic rear differential as the Vantage Coupe, but tweaked slightly to suit the Roadster. The rear dampers have its own unique tuning, as well as the Adaptive Damping System software and ESP calibration.

Some of the drive modes have also been tuned specifically for the Roadster, such as Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. Aston Martin says despite being a convertible, it still has a “tremendous breadth of ability and feels equally at home on road or race track.”

The cabin is identical to the coupe, and can be customised to anyone’s liking

Along with its debut come a new range of options such as the iconic ‘vane’ radiator grille, new alloy wheel designs, and of course the option of having a seven-speed manual transmission, although this is only available on the Coupe for the time being. The manual gearbox was first introduced on the limited-edition Vantage AMR. This is all part of Vantage’s 70th anniversary celebration, by the way.

Company president and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer said: “Open-top Aston Martins are always firm favourites with our customers, so it’s very exciting to introduce the Vantage Roadster. For many, driving with the roof down is the true definition of the sports car experience as it truly brings your senses to life. Vantage has always delivered the purest of thrills, but in Roadster form that adrenaline rush is set to go to the next level.”

Aston Martin chief engineer, Matt Becker, adds: “Convertible sports cars are often seen as compromised when compared to their Coupe equivalents, but the Vantage Roadster remains absolutely dedicated true to its mission of delivering precise, agile and expressive handling dynamics combined with stonking straight-line performance. And of course, there’s the added dimension of driving a great-sounding sports car with the roof down.”

Prices for the Vantage Roadster start from £126,950 (RM681k) in the UK, with first devlieres scheduled to begin in the second quarter of this year. Expect the Vantage Roadster to be displayed at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show next month, before finding its way to Malaysian shores later in the year. Which do you prefer, coupe or convertible?

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Aston Martin, Cars, International News

Aston Martin DBX could get V12, more variants: report


Aston Martin entered the SUV category with the DBX, powered by the most powerful iteration of the firm’s Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0 litre biturbo V8 with 550 PS and 700 Nm of torque channelled to Mercedes’ 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive.

Although Aston Martin senior manager of global product management Neil Hughes initially said that the company’s 5.2 litre V12 would not fit into the DBX’s engine bay due to its outboard-mounted turbochargers, CEO Andy Palmer has been reported by Road & Track as confirming that the turbocharged bent-twelve will indeed fit, and is therefore a possible addition.

It remains to be seen which gearbox will be paired to the biturbo V12 for application in the DBX, as the larger engine produces 639 PS in the DB11 AMR, albeit with the same amount of torque as the V8. The eight-cylinder engine could potentially give more as the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S cranks out 639 PS and 900 Nm of torque which is paired with the AMG Speedshift MCT 9G nine-speed gearbox and 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive, so it would appear that AMG does have a driveline to handle the V12’s outputs.

There will also be another version at the less extravagant end of the spectrum – a mild-hybrid 3.0 litre inline-six is in the works for the DBX, which will be an adaptation of the M256 turbocharged straight-six unit that produces 435 PS and 520 Nm of torque in the E 53, CLS 53, GLE 53 and the GT 53.

The possible total of three engine choices could potentially offer a wide range of DBX variants, as “we’ll probably do other engine derivatives (and) other spec derivatives, as you do with any lifecycle management,” Palmer told Road & Track. In the same way special-run models have come from the DB11 platform, specials could also materialise from the DBX platform, he added.

For now, twelve-cylinder engined SUVs are represented by the Rolls-Royce Cullinan with its 6.75 litre, 563 hp/850 Nm biturbo V12 and the 6.0 litre, 600 hp/900 Nm biturbo W12 Bentley Bentayga. Might there be an even sportier AMR version of the DBX? “We’re committed to doing an AMR in every one of our range, so that would be an obvious candidate,” Palmer replied.

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