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Hot Aston V12 Vantage Roadster

Red ragtop to a bull: Aston’s new V12 Vantage Roadster will compete with drop-top supercars like the Lamborghini Gallardo Spider.

Aston bares special-edition V12 Vantage Roadster as Vanquish sells out in Oz

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Aston Martin logo12 Jul 2012

ASTON MARTIN has unveiled a drop-top Roadster version of the V12 version of its compact Vantage sportscar, but only 101 will be built to customer order globally.

It arrives hot on the heels of the new Vanquish supercar that is already a sell-out success in Australia, just a week after its global launch event in London.

The Vantage Roadster revealed overnight will be priced at $431,561 plus on-road costs in Australia, making it $44,669 more expensive than the V12 Vantage coupe and $136,661 more than the V8 Vantage S Roadster.

Aston Martin Asia Pacific marketing and communications manager Marcel Fabris told GoAuto just one or two V12 Vantage Roadsters are expected to make it here.

This would make the V12 Roadster almost as exclusive here as the British brand’s $4 million One-77 flagship hypercar, just one of which came to Australia.

Mr Fabris said the V12 Roadster’s local sales expectation was based on initial customer interest. Dealers are now awaiting orders, with deliveries to begin later this year.

Sharing the V12 Vantage coupe’s front-mounted 380kW/570Nm engine (also used in the DBS) and six-speed manual transaxle transmission, the Roadster is claimed to hit 100km/h in 4.5 seconds – three-tenths slower than the coupe – on the way to a hardtop-matching top speed of 305km/h.

The Roadster shares V12 Vantage hallmarks such as the heavily vented bonnet.

A more prominent boot-lid spoiler, lower front air intake, modified damper valve tuning and redesigned rear springs are intended to help the Roadster’s dynamics give little away to the coupe.

A new alloy wheel design adds to the racy feel, along with the use of carbon-fibre for the hand-crafted front splitter and rear diffuser.

Carbon-fibre is also used on the side strakes, mirror housings and tail-light inserts, the interior features exclusive glass switchgear in the lower centre console, and a carbon-fibre fascia and gear-shifter are offered as an option.

Like the V12 Vantage coupe, the Roadster features a Sport button that sharpens throttle response and adjusts the exhaust bypass valves for a rortier exhaust note when activated.

Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez said the V12 Vantage Roadster “allows the driver and passenger to experience full sensory overload thanks to its outstanding performance”.

Mr Marcel told GoAuto the recently unveiled Vanquish has been well-received in Australia, with the local allocation already exhausted for 2012 after potential customers travelled to London for the launch party earlier this month.

The $473,000 Vanquish has a lightweight carbon-fibre skin and a highly tuned version of Aston’s venerable 6.0-litre V12 engine that punches out 421kW of power and 620Nm of torque.

As the most powerful road-going Aston (apart from the flagship One-77 that was sold in strictly limited numbers), the Vanquish has a top speed of 293km/h and can hit 100km/h in 4.1 seconds.

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