Small car, huge engine. This has been the most successful formula for making lively sports cars since the AC Cobra and before.
To that end, Aston Martin has dropped its latest and greatest 6.0-liter V12 into its smallest roadster: the Vantage. With performance of just 3.9-seconds to 60-mph through the automatic transmission, an exhaust note that gives you goose bumps every time, and personalization options that run to 30-plus colors — this is the pinnacle of Aston Martin in 2014.
2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster
2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster
• Two-seat, two-door soft-cover convertible top bodystyle
• Extruded bonded aluminium VH body structure
• Aluminium, magnesium alloy, composite and steel body
• Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
• Halogen projector headlamps (main beam)
• High Intensity Discharge headlamps (dipped beam)
• LED rear lamps
• Clear rear lamps
• Carbon fibre front splitter and rear diffuser
• Black headlamp bezels
• Front: Ventilated Carbon Ceramic Matrix discs, 398 mm diameter with six-piston monobloc calipers
• Rear: Ventilated Carbon Ceramic Matrix discs, 360 mm diameter with four-piston monobloc calipers
• Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Track mode
• Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Track mode
• Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
• Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
• Traction Control (TC)
• Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA)
• Positive Torque Control (PTC)
• Hill Start Assist (HSA)
Wheels & Tyres
• 9” 10-spoke forged alloy Graphite painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
• Front: 9 x 19” Pirelli P Zero Corsa 255/35 ZR19
• Rear: 11 x 19” Pirelli P Zero Corsa 295/30 ZR19
• Full-grain leather interior
• Piano Black fascia trim, centre stack and door grabs
• Leather-trimmed sports steering wheel with Black airbag ring
• Electrically adjustable sports seats with side airbags
• Memory seats and exterior mirrors (three positions)
• Dual-stage driver/passenger front airbags
• Carbon-fibre front grille
• Titanium front grille and side strake meshes
• Powerfold exterior heated mirrors
• Heated rear screen
• Automatic temperature control
• Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays
• Trip computer
• Cruise control
• Bluetooth® telephone preparation
• Satellite navigation
• Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror
• Garage door opener (USA and Canada only)
• Rear parking sensors
• Reverse parking assist camera (USA and Canada only)
• Tyre pressure monitoring
• Alarm (with volumetric and tilt sensor) and immobiliser
• Remote control central door locking and boot release
• Glass ECU
• Glass switches
• Aston Martin Tracking by Cobra (UK only)
• LED map reading lights
Interior Detailing Options
• Carbon fibre fascia trim
• Carbon Interior Pack comprising fascia trim and door grabs
• Carbon fibre paddleshifts
• Aston Martin Wings headrest embroidery 6
• Black pedal pads and footrest
• Black anodised speaker grilles (only available with Bang & Olufsen audio system)
• Personalised sill plaques
• All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48-valve, 5935 cc V12
• Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
• Fully catalysed, stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
• Compression ratio 11.1:1
• Max power 421 kW (573 PS/565 bhp) at 6750 rpm
• Max torque 620 Nm (457 lb ft) at 5750 rpm
• Acceleration TBC
• Maximum speed 323 km/h (201 mph)
• Rear mid-mounted, seven-speed ‘Sportshift III’ automated manual transmission
• Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft
• Limited-slip differential
• Final-drive ratio 3.727:1
• Length 4385 mm (172.6”)
• Width 1865 mm (73.4”) excluding mirrors
• Width 2022 mm (79.6”) including mirrors
• Height Roadster 1260 mm (49.2”)
• Wheelbase 2600 mm (102.4”)
• Front track 1570 mm (61.8”)
• Rear track 1575 mm (62.0”)
• Turning circle 11.8 m (38.7 ft) (kerb to kerb)
• Boot capacity 144 litres (5.0 cu ft)
• Fuel capacity 80 litres (17.6 UK gal/21.1 US gal)
• Kerb weight 1745 kg (3847 lb)
• Front: Independent double wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
• Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, dual-rate coil springs and monotube adaptive dampers
• 160 W Aston Martin audio system with six-CD autochanger
• Integrated Apple iPod® connector
• USB connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Player (WMA) and MPEG (MP3) audio file compatibility
Exterior Detailing Options
• 10-spoke forged alloy wheels – Liquid Silver painted– Gloss Black painted with a diamond-turned finish
• Alternative Brake Caliper finish: Grey, Red or Yellow
• Pirelli P Zero Tyres
• Black or Silver Graphics Pack – individual body panels or combinations of: rear tailgate panel and lamp infills and front grille ‘lipstick’
• Exterior Carbon Pack comprising mirror caps, side strakes and rear lamp infills
• Carbon-fibre side strakes
• Painted carbon fibre front grille
• Black front grille and side strake meshes
• Black side window trim surround
• Black textured tailpipe finishers
• Silver headlamp bezels
• ‘V12’ front wing badging
• Delete model badging
• Delete protective tape
• Front parking sensors
• Reverse parking assist camera (standard in USA and Canada)
• Heated seats
• Lightweight seats with six-way electrical adjustment
• Passenger seat with ISOFIX (fixed height)
• Garage door opener
• Second glass ECU
• Aston Martin Tracking by Cobra
• First aid kit
• Ashtray and cigar lighter
• Boot-mounted umbrella
• Leather ECU pouch
• 700 W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby® Pro Logic II®
• 1000 W Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower® technology
• Satellite radio (USA and Canada only)
2 Complies with UK Thatcham Category 5 requirements. Excludes subscription. Standard in UK
3 Cobra is a registered trademark of Cobra Automotive Technologies SpA
4 iPod® is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries
5 Does not include side airbags
6 Not available with lightweight seats
7 ‘Sportshift’ trademark is used under licence from Prodrive (Holdings) Ltd
When it arrives in markets around the world later this year the new sports car will become the luxury British marque’s most potent, fastest and fastest-accelerating series production roadster to date and follows in the broad tyre tracks of the V12 Vantage S Coupe that was launched to worldwide acclaim in 2013.
Providing the most visceral yet engaging open-top experience in Aston Martin’s current range, the new V12 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.
Equipped with the latest 565 bhp Aston Martin AM28 6.0-litre V12 engine, featuring state-of-the-art Bosch engine management, the car is capable of reaching 201 mph and sprinting from rest to 60 mph in only 3.9 seconds.
Peak and low rev torque is delivered in abundance. With 457 lb ft available at 5,750 rpm the V12 Vantage S Roadster is not to be found wanting in this vital department. Crucially, too, low rev torque – measured at just 1,000 rpm – peaks at a colossal 376 lb ft. Together, these statistics demonstrate the Aston Martin engineers’ ability to create a ‘flatter’, yet ‘fatter’, torque curve which supports exceptional driveability and strong pick-up through the gears.
“Beautiful, powerful and spirited it is as spectacular to listen to as it is to look at. The new roadster is truly a treat for the senses with, underlying all this, the capacity to deliver one of the most dynamic, exciting and stirring driving experiences in our current range.
As with its coupe sibling, race car technology runs right through the DNA of the V12 Vantage S Roadster with, for instance, CNC machined combustion chambers and hollow cam shafts just two examples of track technology feeding through to the road.
Another clear example is the new car’s gearbox, the Sportshift™III ASM (auto-shift manual) transmission. Engineered to exploit the full sporting potential of the V12 engine, the latest generation Sportshift™III hydraulically actuated automated manual transmission provides motorsport-style paddle shift changes for optimum performance delivery. The unit, which replaces the six-speed manual gearbox found in the previous V12 Vantage Roadster, is also appreciably lighter – saving 44 lb versus its forebear.
This race-derived and motorsport-proven technology – used routinely in Aston Martin Racing’s race-winning Vantage GT4, GT3 and GTE competition cars – provides for great driver control with only milliseconds of torque interruption and delivers precise and swift gear changes.
The Sportshift™III transaxle, from transmission experts Oerlikon Graziano, joins an extensive array of new sport and track-focused developments that ensure the V12 Vantage S Roadster is fully equipped to exploit the huge performance potential of its 6.0-litre naturally aspirated engine.
The use of three-stage adaptive damping, allied to three-stage DSC and two-stage ABS, allows the driver to more precisely tailor the car’s dynamic character. ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ modes provide a broad swathe of dynamic performance that can be tuned to better suit the driver’s requirements. The system also governs the level of power steering assistance offered.
Working alongside the extended chassis capabilities is a ‘Sport’ mode, controlled via a button on the centre console that alters throttle response, gearshift speed and timing, and exhaust note to, once again, tune the character of the car to the driver’s requirements.
Optimum braking performance is delivered via the specially-created carbon ceramic discs all round, with near-identical brakes appearing on the brands ultimate GT, the Vanquish. Meanwhile a whole new exhaust system – derived from that of Aston Martin’s most expensive and exclusive production model, the One-77 hypercar – is light, small and wonderfully sonorous.
The ZF Servotronic power assisted steering offers a quick, slick, 15:1 ratio and, linked to the adaptive damping button, it offers two-mode steering assistance designed to best match the ‘Sport’ or ‘Normal’ settings generated by the Adaptive Damping System.
As Aston Martin’s most overtly sporting convertible car, with a more dynamic character even than the luxurious Vanquish Volante ultimate GT or refined DB9 Volante, the V12 Vantage S Roadster has been styled to reflect is position as the flagship convertible in the Vantage family.
In keeping with the V12 Vantage S Coupe, the Roadster does away with the famous aluminium vanes in the Aston Martin grille – replacing them with a carbon fibre arrangement that also includes sporty black or titanium silver mesh. Created to maximise airflow to the V12 engine, the new grille is inspired by both the remarkable CC100 Speedster Concept and the Vantage race cars.
The new Roadster retains the same compact proportions of its predecessor while features such as the pronounced bonnet louvres, optional bold graphics (painted carbon front grille, front grille lipstick and tailgate panel) as well as the exterior carbon pack and flared wheel arches underscore its sporting abilities.
Inside, as out, the new car has been styled to reflect its powerful nature. New-style seat trim and door trims, with Sport and carbon fibre Lightweight seat options – present V12 Vantage S Roadster buyers with an exciting array of choices.
The optional Interior Carbon Pack, which adds carbon fibre to the car’s facia and door pulls, plus the availability for the first time in a V12 Vantage S Roadster of black pedals, further enhances personalisation options for those in search of a truly bespoke sports car.
For V12 Vantage S Roadster this includes a palette of bold exterior and interior colours; body coloured carbon bonnet louvres; a red tint or satin finish to the carbon fibre elements on the exterior and interior of the car; a full carbon fibre centre console, black anodised and machined rotary controls and a steering wheel with a leather on-centre stripe in the chosen interior accent colour.
“We believe that it is a truly exceptional sports car, with the capacity to set pulses racing just by its sound alone. The authentic appeal of its style, performance, quality and craftsmanship ensure its stands head and shoulders above others in its sector and delivers that most precious of experiences – fun – in abundance!”
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.