The similarities between the Aston Martin's smallest coupé and the drop-top don’t stop at their chassis. The V8 Vantage S Roadster also shares the coupe’s 4.7-litre, dry-sumped V8 in precisely the same state of tune, as does the V12 S model.

So despite giving away 80kg to the coupé, the roadster has a broadly similar, junior-supercar level of performance. With a higher drag coefficient (0.35 versus 0.34) and barely a difference in their frontal profiles, the roadster was a tad slower on high-speed runs at Bruntingthorpe airfield, hitting 157mph compared with the coupé’s 165mph in the same length of track. 

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The V8 sounds even better with the roof stowed

But it’s the nature of the naturally aspirated V8’s power delivery that makes the Vantage roadster feel, if not exactly slow, then certainly more lethargic than most of its rivals. A Porsche 911 Carrera S cabriolet feels more responsive through more of its rev range than the Aston, while a Mercedes-AMG SL 63 feels positively ballistic in comparison.

The V8 Vantage’s power delivery and response are soft at low revs, and it only offers real urgency above 4000rpm. At least when the V8 finally does let loose, it does so with a glorious, hard-edged V8 noise that hood-down driving lets you get the most from. 

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If someone said this was the best engine note in production, we’d find it difficult to argue otherwise. But the truth is that at the other side of £90,000, the V8 roadster ought to feel seriously fast, and it doesn’t. The V12 is equally compelling to listen to, and has the performance to go with the noise as the 565bhp Roadster can blast to 60mph in 3.7sec.

We’ve no complaints about the brakes, though; they have a solid, progressive pedal feel and offer excellent stopping distances, wet or dry. They resist fade strongly, too.

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