Lid lifted on Aston’s fastest drop-top

ALREADY own one of the fastest V12 road cars in the world, but you’re keen to experience the wind in what’s left of your hair and don’t know which way to turn? Well, hello there, Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster.

Aston has removed the tin toupee from its most potent, fastest and quickest production coupe to create its most potent, fastest and quickest roadster yet, with the atmo 421kW 6.0-litre V12 under the Vantage’s sculpted and vented bonnet able to push the ragtop from rest to 100km/h in 4.1sec – 0.2sec slower than the lidded version.

“Providing the most visceral yet engaging open-top experience in Aston Martin’s current range, the new 12 Vantage S Roadster delivers characteristic sporting agility underpinned by an enviable sports soundtrack generated by its naturally aspirated V12 engine and expertly tuned sports exhaust,” Aston said in a statement announcing the Vantage S roadster’s arrival.

The drop-top is expected to land in Australia late this year with a Toyota 86 GTS-sized jump in price over the $389,000 coupe on which it is based.

The latest Aston is capable of a top speed of 324km/h while tapping the engine’s full 620Nm of torque, delivered from 5750rpm.

But the British luxury marque also claims more than 510Nm of torque is available from just off idle – around 1000rpm – to give the roadster a ‘flatter’, yet ‘fatter’, torque curve for “exceptional driveability and strong pick-up through the gears”.

According to Aston, the V12 Vantage S Roadster borrows heavily from race-bred technology including 3D-printed combustion chambers and hollow camshafts.

Drive is sent to the rear wheels via a “Sportshift III” seven-speed automated manual gearbox equipped with hydraulic shifters to allow the driver to use paddles tucked in behind the steering wheel.

Aston says the new-generation ’box is 20kg lighter than the six-speed unit used in the previous version of the roadster, despite the extra gear.

Roadholding and cornering are enhanced using three-stage adaptive dampers, while a three-stage electronic stability control system rotating through Normal, Sport and Track settings as well as a two-stage traction control “allow the driver to more precisely tailor the car’s dynamic character”, which includes changes to the steering weight.

Vanquish-style carbon ceramic brakes are also pitched in as standard kit.

The V12 Vantage S Roadster uses a similar titanium exhaust system to that used on the One-77 supercar, and replaces the traditional Aston grille with a lightweight carbonfibre substitute to cut weight.

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