Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster
(Photo/Aston Martin)

Big Power, Great Exhaust Note, Gorgeous Body Lines, and a Drop-Top: Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster

Aston Martin is slicing the roof off the V12 Vantage. It’s only going to build 249 Vantage V12 Roadsters, and in typical Car Week reveal fashion, it has already sold every one of them.

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage in coupe form is one of the best-looking cars on the market, from an automaker known for making some of the best-looking vehicles ever built. Removing the roof adds to the visual drama of the Vantage, with the added benefit of making that mighty V12 easier to hear from inside the car.

Twin-Turbo V12 Beating Heart

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster
(Photo/Aston Martin)

At the heart of the V12 Vantage Roadster is Aston’s 5.2L V12. The twin-turbo 12-cylinder engine produces a whopping 690 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. That makes it the most powerful Vantage Roadster yet. This allows the car to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and reach 200 mph. That is with the top up, of course; otherwise, you’d probably mess up your hair.

Like the V12 Coupe, the Roadster uses the ZF eight-speed automatic that’s almost ubiquitous in modern supercars. The rear axle uses a mechanical limited-slip differential to ensure optimal grip on acceleration.

Wide Track, Loud Pipes

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster
(Photo/Aston Martin)

Under the V12 Vantage Roadster is the same suspension hardware as the coupe. Around 2 inches wider than the standard V8 Vantage, Aston calls it “honed to the keenest possible edge.” The adaptive dampers are tweaked, though, with a setting specific to the chassis changes brought on by removing the roof.

Like the coupe, the V12 Vantage Roadster has a front bumper, hood, fenders, and side sills all made from carbon fiber. The rear bumper and decklid are made from a different composite material to help cut even more weight.

The V12’s exhaust is new, too. It’s 16 pounds lighter than the V8’s, and it’s tuned to make sure the V12 is heard as it should be.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster
(Photo/Aston Martin)

Tweaks to the roadster let it make 476 pounds of downforce at speed. That’s slightly more than the coupe, even though it doesn’t come with the coupe’s rather large rear wing.

You can get the wing as an option if you want (we wouldn’t), helping keep the car glued to the pavement. However, the downforce is developed at speeds best left for the race track.

The V12 Vantage Roadster wears carbon ceramic brakes as standard, just like the coupe. Giant discs wear six-piston calipers in the front and fours in the rear. They can handle repeated hard braking, and the discs also slash 51 pounds compared with steel parts, to the benefit of steering response and ride quality.

The package is finished off with 21-inch wheels and an option for an even lighter set of forged parts. Michelin Pilot 4S tires are suitably enormous, measuring 275 wide in the front and 315 in the rear.

Carbon Seating With Winged Leather

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster
(Photo/Aston Martin)

Performance is big here, but comfort hasn’t been ignored. The V12 Roaster gets Sports Plus seats trimmed with semi-aniline leather and is decorated with Aston’s “Wings” quilt and perforation pattern.

Head through the options list, and you’ll find carbon fiber seats with an exposed weave and manual adjustment. Those are for drivers who want to cut another 16 pounds and pretend they can tell the difference.

Of course, standard is not enough for many Aston buyers. For them, Q by Aston Martin can deliver bespoke exterior graphics including racing liveries, more exposed carbon fiber with color-changing lacquer, and woven leather for the interior — or anything else you can think up short of Bond-style offensive weapons.

Aston will reveal the car in Monterey as part of the town’s Car Week festivities. But as we said up top, Aston sold all 249 copies long ago, so if you want one, you’re either already on the list or waiting for one to show up in the certified pre-owned section.

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Evan Williams

Evan has been drooling over cars since the time he learned to walk. Since then he's worked on controlling the drooling and expanded his interests to include hiking, cycling, and kayaking. He went to school for engineering but transitioned into a more satisfying career and has been writing automotive and outdoors news for nearly a decade