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Aston Martin Unveils Limited-Edition V12 Vantage Roadster

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage is something of a British supercar puzzle: it's Aston Martin's smallest car (not including the Cygnet), yet it's packing the company's largest engine. The V12 Vantage line is about to get even more interesting with the addition of the topless V12 Vantage Roadster.

Aston Martin buyers looking for a convertible with a V-12 engine have long been able to buy either the DB9 or DBS Volante convertibles, and buyers looking for a Vantage with a soft-top have had the option of a V8 Vantage convertible for years. 2012 marks the first time, however, that Aston Martin will make a V12 Vantage without a fixed roof.

As the name suggests, the V12 Vantage makes use of Aston's510-hp, 5.9-liter V-12 engine, and mates it to a six-speed manual transmission. Aston Martin estimates that the V12 Vantage Roadster will hit 62 mph in 4.5 seconds and top out at 190 mph. Like Aston's other twelve-cylinder models, the Vantage Roadster also sports a two-mode exhaust system that grows throatier when the car is placed into sport mode.

Aston engineers also fiddled with the suspension to keep the ride acceptable despite the lack of a roof, including new rear springs, different rear dampers, and different tuning for the front and rear damper valves. Like the V12 Vantage coupe, it also has a smattering of carbon fiber pieces, including the side strakes, front splitter and rear diffuser, wing mirror caps, and parts of the rear lamp assemblies are made of carbon fiber.

V12 Vantage Roadster models receive a new design of forged wheel on the outside, and on the inside, the switches at the bottom of the center stack are made of glass. Carbon-crazy buyers can spec their Vantage Roadsters with carbon fiber transmission tunnel trim and instrument panel trim--while Aston Martin didn't release any pricing for that option, we can predict it's steep.

Aston Martin will make 101 units of the V12 Vantage Roadster, all of which start at 150,000 British pounds, or $233,340. There's only one caveat, however, and it's that the V12 Vantage Roadster is only available in the United Kingdom. If you're a fan of open-top motoring and big, British V-12s, but live here in the states, you're going to have to admire the V12 Vantage Roadster's brilliance from across the Atlantic--or, perhaps, buy a DB9 Volante instead.

Source: Aston Martin