Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Aston Martin Vantage V12 Roadster finally official

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July 20, 2012

Aston Martin Vantage V12 Roadster

Aston Martin Vantage V12 Roadster

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The stuffing of a very large engine into the front of a compact car body has always been a recipe for automotive desirability. If the chassis can actually handle the power and weight while maintaining stability and poise then motoring nirvana beckons. Add the option of a stowable roof to allow sunbathing, sightseeing, and posing in equal measure and you surely have a winner. The only question that remains is why it took Aston Martin so long to launch this obvious extension to the range.

Of course we’ll never have any officially sanctioned reason for the three-year gap between Coupe and Roadster but we can guess that Aston Martin, being a relatively small manufacturer, had its hands full with other things such as getting the news out of the stunning Vanquish, a vehicle that sets the styling and engineering benchmarks for Astons to come.

The problem with the timing is that the styling of the Roadster maybe looks a little old-fashioned and soft compared to the sharpened aggression of the new car. Add to that the “interesting” color choices of the launch vehicle pictured here and one is reaching for the ‘phone to report it to the Style Police.

I jest. The V12 Vantage has always been a fantastically desirable vehicle but I have never got along with the design of the - entirely necessary I’m sure - bonnet vents. The blood-red finish used on the carbon fiber in this example makes me feel a bit ill. Aston Martin will of course make the car and its carbon fiber bits in any damn color you like so tasteful combinations are but a paint swatch and £150,000 (US$235,000) away.

Aston Martin Vantage V12 Roadster carbon fiber bonnet cooling

Changes from the standard V8 Roadster in addition to the 6.0 liter V12 include a lower front splitter, rear diffuser, upswept tail spoiler, carbon side-strakes and mirror surrounds, glass console buttons and a new wheel design. Modified dampers and springs plus a Sport button do exactly what you might imagine together with an increase in exhaust noise.

The normally aspirated engine produces 517 horsepower and 570 Nm (420 ft·lb) of torque which can propel the car to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds. Top speed is 306 km/h (190 mph).

The V12 Coupe is widely regarded as a well-sorted and exciting sports car. Being able to put the roof down can surely only add to that experience.

About the Author
Vincent Rice Vincent Rice has been an audio-visual design consultant for almost 30 years including six years with Warner Brothers Cinemas. He has designed several large retail installations in London and a dozen major nightclubs across the world from Belfast to Brno to Beruit. An accomplished musician and 3D computer graphics artist, Vince also writes for AV Magazine in the U.K. and the Loudscreen digital signage blog.   All articles by Vincent Rice
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1 Comment

The vents on the hood are disgusting and ruin an otherwise beautiful car.

John Stone
13th August, 2012 @ 08:35 pm PDT
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