We knew the last V12-powered Aston Martin was the new V12 Vantage Coupe unveiled in March 2022. However, rumors and spy shots began swirling of a V12-powered Vantage with a chopped roof, signifying that the last production Aston with a V12 engine could be a roadster. Fast forward to the recently concluded 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and the world will never be the same. We saw the debut of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster, the very last to have a standard V12 engine, the automaker’s swansong to its 109 years of gasoline-fueled history.
“We have worked extremely hard to ensure the V12 Vantage Roadster possesses the same potency and dynamism that characterizes the V12 Vantage while surpassing it in terms of raw sensory excitement that you only achieve with roof-down driving,” said Roberto Fedeli, Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer.
First Time Is The Last
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster marks the first time the brand fitted its twin-turbocharged V12 mill to, um, the Vantage Roadster. Naturally, it also makes it the most potent Vantage Roadster in the automaker’s history.
The mill in question is similar to what you’ll find under the hood of the V12 Vantage Coupe, a 5.2-liter V12 with dual variable camshaft timing, water-to-air charge cooling, CNC-machined combustion chambers, and a 9.3:1 compression ratio. It pumps out similar numbers as the Coupe, with 690 horsepower and 555 lb-ft. of torque going to the rear wheels via a Z4 eight-speed automatic with a limited-slip differential (LSD).
“With more power and torque than any Vantage Roadster before it, a wide-track chassis with precisely-tuned suspension calibration, and up to 10 times the downforce of the series production Vantage Roadster, this is a breathtaking machine created for our most enthusiastic customers,” Fedeli added.
Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster: Power & Speed
You can bet the house that the V12 Vantage Roadster is still mighty quick despite weighing more than the Coupe with its folding roof. Aston claims zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and a 200 mph top speed. It also has a power-to-weight ratio of 367 horsepower-per-ton, allowing it to scoot just as aggressively as the Coupe’s zero to 60 time of 3.4 seconds.
Aston Martin’s designers and engineers did their part in shaving off every last ounce of unwanted heft. The V12 Vantage Roadster has a carbon fiber clamshell hood, front bumper, front fenders, rear bumper, and trunk lid to reduce weight. It has a new lightweight battery and a center-mounted, stainless steel twin-exhaust system that weighs 16 lbs. less than the Coupe’s exhaust. Speaking of the exhaust, we’re sure the V12 Vantage Roadster sounds as good as it looks.
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster has a 40mm (1.6-inch) wider track than a standard Vantage, part of the reason for the car’s widebody design. It has custom-tuned adaptive dampers and a steering calibration similar to the Coupe. Engineers paid close attention to how the roadster sliced the wind with the top up or down and gave it a front splitter, a reshaped front grille (25 percent larger than before), and a reconfigured front bumper to generate the necessary downforce for spirited driving.
Moreover, the single-piece sills, aerodynamically-enhanced rear bumper, and rear diffuser help keep it glued to the road. Aston Martin will install a “dramatic” rear spoiler if you like that sort of thing, but we prefer to keep it clean when talking about a car like this. Finishing off the roadster’s performance-touring vibe are 21-inch alloy wheels in satin black. We’d choose the optional forged wheels in a heartbeat to shave off about 18 lbs (8 kg) of unsprung weight. Michelin Pilot 4S performance rubber is standard on all wheel choices.
Posh Cabin & Bespoke Styling
All the attention is on what’s under the hood, but the Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster’s cabin is as sumptuous as its widebody exterior. Premium full semi-aniline leather upholstery with quilts and perforations is standard, while optional carbon fiber seats save more weight (16 lbs.) and offer better support in full attack mode.
As with any Aston Martin, the luxury marquee’s Q personalization service will ensure that no two V12 Vantage Roadsters will look alike. With Q, lucky clients personalize their Aston Martin with the finest bespoke materials, colors, trim, and quirky touches like hand-laid carbon panels (that mildly change their hue under different lighting conditions). In short, the sky’s the limit for Q.
Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster: Pricing & Availability
Aston Martin will begin producing the V12 Vantage Roadster in Q3 2022, with the first deliveries projected to arrive in early 2023. You won’t see many of these roaming around since only 249 units will exist worldwide. Aston sold out all 249 build slots before the car’s Pebble Beach debut, presumably to deep-pocketed buyers who have no trouble forking over $350,000 and beyond for the most potent Vantage ever.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.