The V8 Vantage roadster is a classic case of love at first sight. Its unique mix of color and trim, of leather and metal, of cool and casual has you hooked. And that's before you touch the concealed door handle, catch a whiff of hide and mohair, or hear the engine fire for the first time.
Beneath the handsome skin, Aston Martin's familiar Vertical Horizontal (VH) body structure provides torsional stiffness almost on par with cast iron. On the debit side, the V8 Vantage roadster tips the scales at 3771 pounds, some 450 pounds more than the comparatively anorexic Porsche 911 Carrera S. Thanks to its front-engine, rear-transaxle layout, though, the Aston puts most of its meat within the confines of its generous 102.4-inch wheelbase.
The 4.3-liter V-8 is both user-friendly and charismatic, although a little more grunt wouldn't hurt. Most customers likely will eschew the standard six-speed manual for the new automated gearbox with steering-column-mounted paddleshifters. We tried both and prefer the more intuitive and fun fingertip controls on the optional SportShift.
While other sports cars have a sport button that can be pushed to initiate quicker throttle and transmission responses, the V8 Vantage roadster defaults to the sport setting.... Read full article