There’s a lot that I like about the Tesla Model S. I like how it elevates electric vehicles from hum-drum commuters to the realm of sports cars. I also like how the instant torque can rocket the thing toward performance figures that embarrass most petrol-powered vehicles. On top of all of that, it also looks fantastic. But there’s one thing that the Model S, and indeed all electric vehicles, will never possess: ear-quaking sound. Years of exposure to exploding dinosaur juice has created in every car nut out there a Pavlovian response that, when done right, results in a solid case of the fizzies.
A V-12 from Aston Martin makes one such sound. The Brits sure do know how to make an exhaust sound great, and the Vantage S Roadster is testament to that, with its guttural, snarly, vicious set of pipes. As the host of this video, Alex Kersten, puts it, the V12 Vantage simply sounds “glorious.”
For many folks, the sound of a drop-top sports car is as important as its 0-to-60 time and horsepower figures. The sensation of accelerating with maximum thrust, gripping through a corner, and pouring wind through the cabin is simply incomplete without that all-important exhaust note.
Perhaps, many years in the future, such a feature will seem archaic, wasteful even. “What’s the point?” they’ll ask. If such a day ever arrives, let’s hope there’s an Aston Martin with a V-12 and a few drops of gasoline around to teach them.
Click past the jump to read about the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster.
As the smallest vehicle in the Aston Martin range, the V12 Vantage S Roadster combines all the best features of a high-end sports car into one tidy package. Making that fantastic scream from the rear end is a 6.0-liter V-12 with 565 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. Routing this power through the rear wheels is a seven-speed automatic gearbox, a unit that Aston Martin claims saves 44 pounds over the old six-speed manual. The result is a run to 60 mph under four seconds and a top speed that sneezes over 200 mph.
Even though the roof can come off, this Roadster handles quite well, with Aston Martin’s ample racing history evidently poured into the development of the suspension and chassis. The dampers are adjustable, as is the Dynamic Stability Control and ABS. These are all tuned via three selectable drive modes, labeled as Normal, Sport, and Track. There’s also a button that quickens shift speed, sharpens throttle response, and adds decibels to that lovely exhaust.
The brakes comprise ventilated carbon-ceramic discs, with six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear. The interior is exquisitely appointed, with full-grain leather, automated temperature control, Organic Electroluminescent displays, Bluetooth compatibility, satellite navigation, rear parking sensors, tire pressure monitoring systems, and many other goodies, all as standard features.
It also looks amazing, with that classic Aston Martin approach to wide-and-low in the front and a high curve in the rear, similar to the marque’s racing car. There are numerous louvers across the hood to help cool that beastly motor, as well as a carbon-fiber grille and 10-spoke forged-alloy wheels.
It’s a fantastic package, available for a hefty sum of around $200,000.