What is it?
The noise alone would be almost enough to justify the £147,000 asking price of the elegant new Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster.
To be fair, though, the V12 Roadster has an awful lot more going for it than a loud and very lovely exhaust note.
It also happens to be the fastest, most powerful convertible that Aston Martin has yet produced and features upgrades to its steering, styling, chassis, brakes and interior that make it very nearly as wonderful to drive as it is to listen to, albeit with one fairly major caveat that we’ll come to.
The V12 itself has been massaged to produce a thumping 565bhp at 6750rpm alongside 457lb ft at 5500rpm. Claimed performance is thunderous, yes, but not quite in the same league as the fastest rivals at this level; 0-60mph takes 3.9sec and top speed is 201mph.
A Porsche 911 Turbo S cabriolet is a fair bit quicker off the line and to three figures, beyond which the longer-legged Aston gradually starts to reel it back in. Overall, though, it’s way more than quick enough, thank you very much.
Not that tyre-shredding performance is ultimately what the V12 Roadster is all about, despite its prodigious reserves. Arriving at your destination in maximum style, having had the maximum amount of fun en route, is more what this Aston has been designed for.
Visually, the V12 S can be distinguished from lesser Vantage Roadsters by its beautiful leather-clad rear buttresses (with its electric hood down) and by its feistier-looking black grille, as well as its handsome new 19-inch wheels front and rear.
There’s also a fairly brazen-looking V12 Vantage S badge on the bootlid and, if you look closely enough, you might also spot that the brake discs are freckled in appearance because they are made not from steel but from a carbon-ceramic composite instead.