Aston Roadster: the lowdown
Here are the best spyshots yet of Aston Martin's soft-top version of the V8 Vantage. The two-seater, to be unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show at the end of November, is set to be called Roadster, rather than adopt the Volante name typical of soft-top Astons. Power comes from the 380bhp 4.2-litre V8 used in the coupe. Expect a price around £90,000, with deliveries due in spring 2007.
There's more to the Roadster than a simple tin opener-job on the coupe. While convertibles are typically spun off saloon bodies, the V8 Vantage is a hatchback, so Aston's designers have had to create a new rear end. It's a handsome rump, flowing into a lip spoiler just like the coupe's. The powered, fabric roof stows to reveal those twin buttresses, and a wind deflector folds up to soothe turbulence.
And the rest...
The rest of the Roadster – from the wheels up – is nigh on identical to the coupe. Both cars are based on Aston's aluminium VH platform. Insiders claim it is so stiff that minimal bracing was needed, to offset the reduced rigidity of going topless. Don't expect too much of a weight gain over the 1630kg coupe. With the Roadster running the same 380bhp 4.2-litre V8, performance should be similar. Expect 0-62mph in around 5.0sec and a top speed not too far off the coupe's 175mph. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual 'box, or the new paddleshift 'box unveiled at September's Paris motor show.