We get the keys to the 565bhp, 457 lbft, 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, 201mph, £147,000.00 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster as part of Luxurious Magazines invite to the Aston Martin Côte d’Azur lifestyle event.
This latest offering from Aston Martin follows their highest performing model to date, the V12 Vantage S Coupe, only this time you get to enjoy open top motoring in their fastest ever convertible, allowing even more audible delights from the 565bhp naturally aspirated V12 sounding through its new lightweight tuned exhaust system – it’s simply sensational.
The design carried out to create the voluptuously sculptured Roadster by Aston Martins Director of Design, Marek Reichman and his team, is truly stunning and distinctly Aston Martin. The exterior has an imposing aggressive appearance with its black bonnet vents and use of much black carbon fibre detailing, and yet retains just enough contemporary stylish elegance and luxurious sex appeal to allow you to attend any high-class occasion as necessary, and yes, it even appears to have enough room in the boot for your golf clubs!
The interior doesn’t miss out in the design and styling efforts either, with bespoke handcrafted leather stitched detailing and a sumptuous luxurious feel, it’s a place that any driver would be proud to sit. All design features with close inspection appeared wonderfully executed as one would expect from Aston Martins renowned craftsmen.
The Vantage is Aston Martins smallest car, so shoehorning the 6.0 litre V12 into its engine bay is a tremendous piece of engineering in itself, but helps to get the Roadster to 60mph in a mere 3.9 seconds and onto a seemingly superfluous top speed of 201mph. The V12 Vantage S has also seen much of Aston Martins race car technology incorporated into its development, making it a true driving enthusiasts car. So just how does it drive?
A blast along some of Frances award winning roads.
With the weather looking promising, we were handed the keys to our Mako Blue Roadster with its optional 19″ satin black lightweight forged alloy wheels, which I think makes it look absolutely stunning, helping to accentuate the dramatic sweeping lines, bulges and wide wheel arches. However, if you prefer a different colour, Aston Martin do offer a bespoke service through the Aston Martin ‘Q’ personalisation service, which allows you to pretty much create, and option just about any colour and detailing you like, helping you to create your very own individualised Roadster.
Having been handed the keys to our car, our road trip route in this adorable South of France region, would take us along the main Boulevard and Prom road (M6098), along the coastline through Nice and then up through the most amazing mountain roads through the Greolieres region and back again – it was now time to see just how good this car really was.
Our drive through Nice confirmed just how good this car looked and sounded, as we can certainly testify to the number of people of all ages and both sexes, who gave the car admiring glances and even an enthusiastic wave or two, which made posing in the Roadster all the more easier – not that we were – of course!
With the main town area behind us, we were now in the magnificent mountain regions with beautiful twisting roads and passes. With rock faces to one side and dramatic drops to the other, interspersed with the odd tunnel, the sound of the engine note through its tuned twin exhaust system was both provocative and intoxicating.
With Aston Martins naturally aspirated 6.0 litre AM28 V12 engine mated to its race proven 7 speed Sportshift III automated manual transmission (with a choice of automatic or manual paddle shift), the Roadster delivered breathtaking but civilised performance. With the sport mode button pushed in (altering the throttle response, gearshift speed, timing, and the exhaust note) and the adaptive damping button also pushed in (making chassis, stability, braking, and steering assistance changes), it became a truly phenomenal performance machine, with good pickup and great engine response throughout its rev range. And if that isn’t enough there is a track mode also. Stopping or slowing down wasn’t a problem either, as fitted to this car are numerous electronic braking aids and enormous front and rear carbon ceramic discs, sat between six-piston and four-piston monobloc calipers respectively.
Incidentally, we felt it was best to keep it in sport mode or to use the paddle-shift, as when in normal mode there was a slight delay in the gear changes, which made the drive a little….well, jerky. Also as a side note, there is sadly, no manual gearbox option for the Roadster for the purists amongst us.
After an exhilarating drive we reached our first stop for coffee and cakes at the quaint and quintessentially French ‘Restaurant Le Cheiron’. This little restaurant has become quite a popular stopping point for many travellers on the roads of the Greolieres region and we can fully understand why, with its old worldly surroundings, charming character and friendly welcome.
After the brief stop, we were let loose again with the Roadster, to enjoy more of the areas amazing roads. The route back had varying road layouts, which allowed us to further test some of the setup options that the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster had and to open the car up along various long straights with some spirited driving .
We were pleasantly surprised at just how comfortable and easy the Roadster was to drive at slower speeds and yet ready and willing to show us what a car with 565bhp and 620Nm of torque could do and it certainly didn’t disappoint us with its power, grace and abilities on these magnificent roads.
On our drive we never really felt the V12 Vantage S roadster wanting to become unsettled, although we did lose a little traction on hard acceleration and cornering a few times with our Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyre fitted car. But given that the V12 provides you with a gobsmacking 510Nm from as low as 1,000rpm, that is fully understandable!
Overall the V12 Vantage S Roadster drove with great feel and poise and went wherever we pointed it, with very precise and weighted steering, despite it having a kerb weight of some 3847lbs.
We were also lucky with the weather, albeit overcast, as we were able to have the roof down during the entire road trip and thanks to its excellent design, I was comfortable at all speeds during the daytime and into the evening. But if the weather would have been against us, it would have been a simple 14-second process to operate the electric soft-top, which can be operated at up to 30mph speeds.
If we had one small criticism about the car, it was that we felt the Sat-Nav System was occasionally a little too slow to update our position on the road. This however, could very much be down to several reasons, such as overcast weather conditions in the area, which was going to get quite severe later on, or maybe it simply just couldn’t keep up with our enthusiastic driving, who knows!?
Some more time in the car looking at and familiarising myself with the controls and settings would probably have helped understand more of what the car had to offer, as there were a large number of buttons and settings to play with and take in, and if I get the chance to drive the V12 Vantage S Roadster again, then I will make sure to do so.
Aston Martin have built a car, that for some feel is lacking the modern technological advances of some of its rivals, but for me, they have created a car, that gives the driver that feeling of a real sense of occasion, which so many cars sadly lack today, and I like that, I really do! While finally the real clincher was the noise, the one real thing that gave the car its presence and soul, with that 6.0 V12’s gloriously beastly growl of a soundtrack, it was simply sensational!
Sadly, the keys to the astonishing Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster, did eventually have to be returned, even more painful, given that Aston Martin keeps putting my initials on the end of their number plates!
We would like to thank the Aston Martin team and everyone involved in the lifestyle event held in Nice France.
Aston Martin: www.astonmartin.com
Photography by Max Earey: www.maxearey.com
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S specifications
- Two-seat, two-door soft-cover convertible top bodystyle
- Extruded bonded aluminium VH body structure
- Aluminium, magnesium alloy, composite and steel body
- Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
- Halogen projector headlamps (main beam)
- High Intensity Discharge headlamps (dipped beam)
- LED rear lamps
- Clear rear lamps
- Carbon fibre front splitter and rear diffuser
- Black headlamp bezels1
- All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48-valve, 5935 cc V12
- Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
- Fully catalysed, stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
- Compression ratio 11.1:1
- Max power 421 kW (573 PS/565 bhp) at 6750 rpm
- Max torque 620 Nm (457 lb ft) at 5750 rpm
- Acceleration Roadster 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds
- Maximum speed Roadster 323 km/h (201 mph)
- Rear mid-mounted, seven-speed ‘Sportshift III’ automated manual transmission
- Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft
- Limited-slip differential
- Final-drive ratio 3.727:1
- Rack and pinion, speed-sensitive Servotronic power-assisted steering, 2.5 turns lock-to-lock
- Column tilt and reach adjustment
- Steering rack with 15:1 ratio
Wheels & Tyres
- 19” 10-spoke forged alloy Graphite painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
- Front: 9 x 19” Pirelli P Zero Corsa 255/35 ZR19
- Rear: 11 x 19” Pirelli P Zero Corsa 295/30 ZR19
- Front: Independent double wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
- Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, dual-rate coil springs and monotube adaptive dampers
- Three-stage Adaptive Damping System (ADS) with Normal, Sport and Track modes
- Front: Ventilated Carbon Ceramic Matrix discs, 398 mm diameter with six-piston monobloc calipers
- Rear: Ventilated Carbon Ceramic Matrix discs, 360 mm diameter with four-piston monobloc calipers
- Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Track mode
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Track mode
- Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
- Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
- Traction Control (TC)
- Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA)
- Positive Torque Control (PTC)
- Hill Start Assist (HSA)
V12 Vantage S Standard Specification
- Full-grain leather interior
- Piano Black fascia trim, centre stack and door grabs
- Leather-trimmed sports steering wheel with Black airbag ring
- Electrically adjustable sports seats with side airbags
- Memory seats and exterior mirrors (three positions)
- Dual-stage driver/passenger front airbags
- Carbon fibre front grille
- Titanium front grille and side strake meshes
- Powerfold exterior heated mirrors
- Heated rear screen
- Automatic temperature control
- Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays
- Trip computer
- Cruise control
- Bluetooth® telephone preparation with audio streaming capability
- Satellite navigation 1
- Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror 1
- Garage door opener (USA and Canada only) 1
- Rear parking sensors
- Reverse parking assist camera (USA and Canada only)
- Tyre pressure monitoring 1
- Alarm (with volumetric and tilt sensor) and immobiliser
- Remote control central door locking and boot release
- Glass ECU
- Glass switches
- Aston Martin Tracking by Cobra (UK only) 2,3
- LED map reading lights
- 160 W Aston Martin audio system with six-CD autochanger
- Integrated Apple iPod® connector 4
- USB connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Player (WMA) and MPEG (MP3) audio file compatibility
Exterior Detailing Options
- 10-spoke lightweight alloy wheels – Silver painted – Satin Black painted
- 10-spoke forged alloy wheels – Liquid Silver painted – Gloss Black painted with a diamond-turned finish
- Alternative Brake Caliper finish: Grey, Red or Yellow
- Pirelli P Zero Tyres
- Black or Silver Graphics Pack – individual body panels or combinations of: front grille ‘lipstick’, rear tailgate panel and lamp infills,
- Exterior Carbon Pack comprising mirror caps, side strakes and rear lamp infills
- Carbon fibre side strakes
- Painted carbon fibre front grille
- Black front grille and side strake meshes
- Black side window trim surround
- Black textured tailpipe finisher
- Silver headlamp bezels
- ‘V12’ front wing badging
- Delete model badging
- Delete protective tape
Interior Detailing Options
- Carbon fibre fascia trim
- Carbon Interior Pack comprising fascia trim and door grabs
- Carbon fibre paddleshifts
- Aston Martin Wings headrest embroidery 6
- Black pedal pads and footrest
- Black anodised speaker grilles (only available with Bang & Olufsen audio system)
- Personalised sill plaques
Comfort and Convenience Options
- Front parking sensors
- Reverse parking assist camera 1
- Lightweight seats with six-way electrical adjustment 1,5
- Heated seats 6
- Passenger seat with ISOFIX (fixed height) 1,6
- Garage door opener (Europe only) 1
- Second glass ECU
- Aston Martin Tracking by Cobra 1,2,3
- First aid kit 1
- Ashtray and cigar lighter
- Boot-mounted umbrella
- Leather ECU pouch
In-Car Entertainment Options
- 700 W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby® Pro Logic II®
- 1000 W Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower® technology
- Satellite radio (USA and Canada only)
- Length 4385 mm (172.6”)
- Width 1865 mm (73.4”) excluding mirrors
- Width 2022 mm (79.6”) including mirrors
- Height Roadster 1260 mm (49.2”)
- Wheelbase 2600 mm (102.4”)
- Front track 1570 mm (61.8”)
- Rear track 1575 mm (62.0”)
- Turning circle 11.8 m (38.7 ft) (kerb to kerb)
- Boot capacity 144 litres (5.1 cu ft)
- Fuel capacity 80 litres (17.6 UK gal/21.1 US gal)
- Kerb weight Roadster 1745 kg (3847 lb)
Fuel consumption litres/100 km (mpg)
- Urban 22.5 (12.6)
- Extra-urban 10.2 (27.7)
- Combined 14.7 (19.2)
- City 12 mpg
- Highway 18 mpg
- Combined 14 mpg
- 343 g/km
1 Not available in all markets
2 Complies with UK Thatcham Category 5 requirements. Excludes subscription. Standard in UK
3 Cobra is a registered trademark of Cobra Automotive Technologies SpA
4 iPod® is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries
5 Does not include side airbags
6 Not available with lightweight seats
7 ‘Sportshift’ trademark is used under licence from Prodrive (Holdings) Ltd