Still want that 911 Convertible? Probably not if you’re looking at these official pictures of the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster.
The Roadster makes its official debut at next month’s LA motor show, before going on sale in the UK in summer 2007 for an estimated £90K.
Aston admits that this drop-top will be extremely popular among boulevard cruisers, but says the Roadster is far more enthusiast-oriented than its other convertible, the DB9 Volante.
The soft-top DB9 was also soft dynamically compared to the DB9 coupé, but Aston says the V8 Roadster will be as good to drive as its hard-top sibling.
Using the same 4.3-litre V8, the Roadster arrives at 60mph in 4.9 seconds (identical to the coupé’s time), and goes on to a claimed top speed of 175mph.
Removing the roof has certainly increased the car’s aesthetic allure, but there are certain disadvantages — the body strengthening required, and the weight of the electronic roof mechanism, have added 80kg, increasing kerb weight to 1710kg. The Roadster also has much less boot space – just 144 litres next to the coupé's 300.
Like the DB9 Volante, the V8 Roadster uses a three-layer fully automatic fabric roof. The roof takes 18 seconds to stow beneath the rigid tonneau cover. Two pop-up roll-over bars are hidden under leather covers. Like the roof on the new Bentley GTC, the Aston’s hood can be operated when driving at speeds of up to 30mph.
There will be the choice of two transmissions: a six-speed Graziano manual gearbox and the Sportshift automated manual transmission soon to be introduced in the coupé.
Aston hopes to sell between 2500 and 3000 V8s in both soft-top and coupé forms each year, and predicts that the Vantage coupe and Roadster will sell in roughly equal numbers.