The Vantage goes topless thanks to the quickest folding roof on the market

The 2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante is the convertible version of the Vantage, the company’s most affordable sports car. Unveiled a couple of years after the coupe, the 2020 Vantage Volante features the quickest folding roof on the market, which takes only 13.5 seconds to pack and unpack. The 2020 Vantage Volante is heavily based on the Vantage coupe so it comes with the same underpinnings under the shell. Powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine borrowed from AMG, the 2020 Vantage Volante hits the road with 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of twist on tap. The British drop-top competes with high-performance convertibles like the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and the Porsche 911 Cabriolet.

Exterior

  • Gorgeous exterior design from the coupe
  • Cabriolet layout works well with the styling
  • Aggressive front and rear fascias
  • Folding soft-top
  • Sleek profile
  • Integrated rear spoiler
2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior
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As expected, the Vantage Volante is pretty much identical to the coupe below the waist. And this is good news, as the latest Vantage is one hot sports car.

The front fascia is obviously identical, including the massive front intake, the relatively small and organic headlamps, and the pointy nose.

However, Aston Martin made a notable change to the grille, opting for a design with thin horizontal and vertical slats instead of the fine mesh seen on the coupe.

This grille isn’t new though. We’ve seen it on other Aston Martin models and it’s basically making a comeback on the Vantage as the nameplate celebrates its 70th anniversary. So this grille is also available with the coupe. While the mesh is known as the "hunter" grille, the new one is called the "vane" grille.

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When viewed from the sides, the Vantage’s sexy beltline and sculpted side skirts are still there, but the A-pillars and windshield are raked a bit more toward the back. a slightly revised decklid to make way for the soft-top. The B- and C-pillars are obviously gone, with a lid added where the latter should be. The deck lid seems identical to the coupe and the rear fenders are just as muscular.

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Of course, the retractable top is the biggest change here. While most carmakers build their soft-tops to mimic the shape of the coupe model, Aston Martin made it shorter. So instead of a really short decklid like on the coupe, the drop-top features a notably longer deck behind the C-pillars. With the top up, the Vantage Volante looks more like a sleek, two-door sedan rather than a full-fledged coupe. But that’s cool, because the rear section of the roof is sleek enough to keep the overall design sporty.

The fabric roof features a lighter Z-fold mechanism. It opens in 6.7 seconds and closes back in 6.8 seconds, at speeds of up to 31 mph.

With total operation time at 13.5 seconds, this is the fastest full operating cycle of any automatic convertible system.

The rear remained identical to the coupe, but only if we ignore the decklid. While the coupe features a really small trunk lid, the convertible sports a longer trunk opening that stretches from the spoiler all the way to the cockpit. The longer lid makes the design more appealing, but it’s also more practical as the soft-top needs space to fold under the lid.

Below that we can see the same slim taillights arched around the shape of the lid, the same integrated spoiler, and the race-inspired diffuser. The latter incorporates big exhaust pipes on each side.

All told, the Vantage Volante is one of the most exciting cabriolets on the sports car market, especially when the roof is folded in the trunk.

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Interior

  • Infinite headroom
  • Extra button for folding roof
  • Modern design
  • New, state-of-the-art technology
  • Leather and Alcantara
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Large infotainment display
  • Many standard features
2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Interior
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The Vantage Volante is virtually identical to the coupe inside the cabin. So expect the same design and features as seen in the metal-top version launched in 2018. Changes inside the current Vantage are rather dramatic. Except for the two-seat layout and the driver-focused dashboard, everything else was redesigned to look more modern. And needless to say, the previous Vantage looked a bit dated inside the cabin.

The dashboard and the center console sport a more organic design with various elements flowing into each other.

The center stack includes quite a few buttons and knobs, as well as an infotainment display at the top. But unlike other cars with floating screens, the Vantage has it set in a special pocket. This not only keeps the display in the driver’s view but also improves visibility. Granted, the Vantage features a bit too many buttons and the display is rather small when compared to other new cars on the market, but this layout seems fitting for a sports car.

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Interior
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As far as materials go, there’s gloss black trim and black leather with contrast stitching, but you can also have brightly colored center console and door panel inserts, as well as carbon-fiber trim. The transmission button layout is unique, with the Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive inputs arranged in a triangular configuration, with the Start button at the top.

Leather and Alcantara cover just about every surface, while the sporty seats come with memory function, ventilation, and heating. The latter two are optional though, so be prepared to pay extra. You can also opt for the Sport Plus seats and a sportier steering wheel with an aggressive flat bottom. Features include automatic climate control with dual-zone temperature, keyless start and stop, parking distance display, and park assist with front and rear parking sensors.

The infotainment is accessed through an eight-inch LCD screen.

The standard audio system is Aston Martin’s very own design, but a Premium Audio system is available. Bluetooth connectivity, phone streaming features, an iPod connector, USB playback, and satellite navigation come standard.

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Interior
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So what sets the Volante model apart? Well, there’s an extra button for soft-top operation on the center console as well as the infinite headroom that comes with convertibles. Speaking of which, the trunk is small compared to the coupe, mostly because the folding roof takes up space under the decklid. Specifically, while the Vantage coupe comes with a 12.3-cubic-foot trunk, the Volante can swallow only 7.1 cubic feet of luggage.

That’s enough for a full-sized golf bag and accessories or a few shopping bags, so it’s not the kind of car you’d want to take on vacation. But the Volante offers a bit more room than the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster, which features a 5.8-cubic-foot trunk. The same goes for the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, but that’s mostly because it has a front trunk, which are traditionally smaller than rear trunks. There’s no official capacity to talk about, but the 911’s "frunk" is only big enough for a carry-on suitcase, so it’s maller than 5.5 cubic feet.

Drivetrain

  • Twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine
  • 503 horsepower
  • 505 pound-feet of torque
  • 75-horsepower more than old model
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds
  • Top speed at 190 mph
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Up to 34 mpg on the highway
2018 Aston Martin Vantage Drivetrain
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Aluminum 4.0-liter V-8 (Twin Turbo)
The Vantage Volante shares underpinnings with the coupe, so it's powered by the same all-alloy, twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 powerplant.

The engine is mounted further toward the back for a front-mid layout, which provides more even weight distribution. Output is rated at 503 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 505 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm, which is pretty close to the engine’s numbers in its original Mercedes-AMG form. The 4.0-liter V-8 is a significant bump over the previous 4.3-liter V-8, which generated 430 horsepower. So we’re looking at a solid 75 horsepower increase.

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante specifications
Engine All alloy quad overhead cam, 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8
Cooling Water-to-air Charge Cooling
Drivetrain Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel-drive
Compression ratio 10.5:1
Exhaust system Fully catalyzed stainless-steel
Horsepower 503 HP @ 6000 RPM
Torque 505 LB-FT @ 2,000-5,000 RPM
0-60mph 3.7 seconds
0-62mph (0-100km/h) 3.8 seconds
Maximum speed 190mph (306kph)

The new engine is more modern too and features quad cams, water-to-air charge cooling, CNC-machined combustion chambers, and a 10.5:1 compression ratio. The stainless steel exhaust uses an electronically controlled flap for either a loud or quieter exhaust note. The engine mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission provided by ZF as standard. Mounted at the rear/mid-position for optimal weight distribution, the new gearbox replaces the previous seven-speed transmission.

The big news is that Aston Martin now offers a manual transmission as well. Specifically, you can order the Vantage Volante with a seven-speed manual, an option previously not available on the coupe, but offered on the limited-edition AMR model.

Just like its hard-top sibling, the Vantage is fitted with an electronic rear differential for extra traction.

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior
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Moving over to performance figures, the Volante needs 3.7 seconds to hit 60 mph.

That two tenths slower than the coupe, but the difference was to be expected given that the drop-top is some 132 pounds heavier. On the other hand, the new Vantage Volante is nearly a half-second quicker than its predecessor. Aston Martin didn’t say specifically, but the 3.7-second benchmark is probably available with the automatic transmission. Expect the Volante to be a tad slower with the manual gearbox, probably around 3.8 seconds.

Aston Martin says that top speed is limited to 190 mph when the roof is folded flat. That’s a five-mph decrease compared to the coupe, which isn’t bad. Top speed could grow with the roof in place, but don’t expect it to surpass the coupe’s.

Fuel economy, on the other hand, is the same at 19.7 mpg in the city, 34.3 mpg on the highway, and 26.8 mpg combined.

So how does it compare to its rivals? The Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster features a similar engine and having more or less power than in the Vantage Volante depends on what model you buy. For instance, the standard Roadster comes with 469 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, while the S Roadster cranks out 515 horses and 494 pound-feet. But go with the GT C Roadster and output jumps well above the Vantage Volante’s at 557 horses and 502 pound-feet. Porsche doesn’t offer a Turbo model for the 992 generation yet, but the Carrera S features a 3.0-liter flat-six that’s quite powerful at 444 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque.

When it comes to 0-to-60 mph sprints, the Vantage Volante is only a tenth-second slower than the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster and on par with the rear-wheel-driven 911 Carrera S Cabriolet.

Chassis, Suspension, and Braking

  • New platform
  • 70-percent unique chassis parts
  • Double-wishbone front suspenion
  • Multi-link rear suspension
  • Adaptive Damping System
  • Pirelli P Zero tires
2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior
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Being a small, niche-oriented company, Aston Martin relies on the same underpinnings for its entire lineup. That’s why all vehicles up until 2016 were built on the VH (Vertical/Horizontal) platform (except the One-77 and the Vulcan). The Brits have launched a brand-new platform with the DB11 that now underpin all Aston Martin vehicles. The new Vantage is also using it, even though about 70 percent of the components have been revised.

The design uses a solidly mounted rear subframe for a more connected feel on the road, as well as a speed-sensitive electric power assist steering for precise cornering. The front suspension includes double wishbones, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar, while the rear section uses a multi-link with coil springs and an anti-roll bar.

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior
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The Vantage also comes with an Adaptive Damping System that changes its setup according to the drive mode.

The system alters the dampers, but also changes engine, transmission, differential, steering, and stability settings. The brake assist, traction control, and torque control systems also help keep everything under control. Traction comes from high-performance Pirelli P Zero tires, while stopping power is provided by big 15.7- and 14.2-inch brake discs front and rear.

Prices

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior
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Pricing for the Vantage Volante starts from $161,000, which is around 12 percent more expensive than the coupe model. This sticker makes the Vantage Volante the most expensive in its niche, as the Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet comes in at $126,100, while the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster starts from $127,900. On the other hand, the AMG GT C Roadster fetches $162,400.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster High Resolution Exterior
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Introduced in 2015, the Mercedes-AMG is the spiritual successor to the iconic SLS AMG. A tad smaller than its predecessor, it’s aimed at the Porsche 911, but it also competes with the new Vantage. The two actually have something in common, as Aston Martin is using a version of the same twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine. But unlike the Vantage, the GT Roadster is available in more flavors. The base model cranks out 469 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, which enables it to hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, toward a top speed of 188 mph. Not exactly fast compared to the Vantage Volante. However, Mercedes also offers the GT C Roadster, which uses a more powerful version of the V-8, rated at 557 horses and 502 pound-feet. This model hits 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, which is a tenth-second quicker than the Vantage Volante, to go with a top speed of 196 mph. Pricing for the AMG GT Roadster starts from $127,900 in base spec and increases to $162,400 before options for the GT C model.

Read our reviews of the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster.

Porsche 911 Cabriolet

2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet
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The 911 was redesigned in 2019 and even though it looks a lot like the old model, design improvements are quite visible. It also rides on new underpinnings and it’s lighter, two feats that make a big difference when it comes to performance. The issue with the 911 is that it doesn’t have a rear trunk and the one in the front is much smaller. On the other hand, the 911 comes with two rear seats, so you can squeeze two more passengers in the back. Porsche has yet to launch a Turbo model with power that competes with the Vantage, but you can buy the Carrera S model with 444 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of twist. Unlike Aston Martin, Porsche offers an all-wheel drive version. The Carrera S Cabriolet is just as quick as the Vantage Volante, needing 3.7 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing starts. The German drop-top starts from $126,100.

Read our full story on the 2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Conclusion

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior
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As the company’s most affordable model, the Vantage is a crucial element in Aston Martin’s financial puzzle. The good news is that the current Vantage has everything it needs to give the competition a run for its money. It’s no longer awfully dated, it looks incredibly sexy with the top down, and it boasts plenty of power. It also comes with a decent amount of technology and the amount of premium features surpass what you can get from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. A massive improvement over the previous generation, the new Vantage Volante should leave a big mark in this highly contested segment.

  • Leave it
    • Not as quick as the AMG GT C
    • A tad more expensive than the competition

Updates

10/23/2019 - Aston Martin Vantage Volante testing at Nurburgring

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior Spyshots
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2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior Spyshots
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10/7/2019 – First Images of the Aston Martin Vantage Volante Are Released

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior Spyshots
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2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior Spyshots
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As you can see from these official images of the Vantage Volante prototype, very little change will take place in converting the coupe into a drop-top below the waist. It will retain the low, wide stance of the coupe it’s based on, along with the rear light bar, ducktail-style rear spoiler, and that mildly aggressive rear diffuser. Above the waistline, the Vantage Roadster will sport a soft canvass top that folds away and stashes below the rear deck. So, the big points to note here are merely unlimited headroom and a sexy topless design when the top is lowered. Otherwise, it’ll maintain the coupe look with the top up.

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior Spyshots
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As far as details go, we don’t have a lot to tell you, as Aston Martin has said precious little. However, you can expect that 4.0-liter V-8 from the coupe to carry over, and it will likely carry over untouched. So, 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque will be at your disposal. A mild weight increase will come along with the droppable top due to the extra mechanicals, but this will have a minimal effect on performance. Since the coupe can sprint to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, the Vantage Volante \ Roadster should be able to post a 3.6-second sprint. Top speed should approach if not break the 190 mph barrier as well. Fuel economy should carry over as well, meaning the drop-top should offer up nearly 20 mpg in the city, around 34 mpg on the highway, and some 27 mpg combined. An eight-speed automatic should handle shifting duties.

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante Exterior Spyshots
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The other big question here is whether or not Aston Martin will decide to offer up a Vantage AMR Volante, but if it does, expect better performance and a six-speed manual gearbox to be the main highlights. Pricing for the standard Vantage Volante should come out to be about eight-percent higher than the coupe, so expect it to cost somewhere around £130,500 or around $160,500 at current exchange rates. As you can see from the not-so-subtle decal in one of the images, the Aston Martin Vantage Volante should make its debut in the Spring of 2020, so we don’t have long to wait before it makes its big debut. Between now and then, expect to see a few teasers, learn a few more minor details, and –as is the industry standards these days – a few leaks.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

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