Monday, May 13, 2013

2013 Aston Martin Vantage S Roadster Review

The same weekend that released the new James Bond film: Skyfall, where the famous British spy appears with his classic Aston-Martin DB5, had the opportunity to evaluate the 2013 Aston Martin Vantage S Roadster. Coincidence? I think not.

The DB5 was one of the favorite cars of a generation, thanks to its seventh appearance in the James Bond film, Goldfinger. The producers of the new film decided to revive this classic of the early 60s to arouse different emotions in the audience.

Almost 50 years after the launch of DB5 Vantage (1964) received the 2013 Vantage S. It shares some of the characteristics of his grandfather: two-seater (2 +2), front-engine, rear wheel drive, available as a hardtop and convertible.

The new engine Vantange receives a 4.7-liter V8 capable of producing 420 HP (430 with the S version) and 346 lb.-ft. (361 S version). For this year installed the same 6-speed manual transmission as standard and optional is the second generation of "automated manual" Sportshift II.

This new transmission works well when driving in "Sport" and / or operating manually through metal paddles located behind the steering wheel. Unfortunately we can not say the same when maintained in standard mode "D", since the response of the transmission and the motor reaction is far from satisfactory.

Some of the improvements relate to the development of a new steering system with a new and improved pump rotation ratio 15:1 (17:1 in the previous generation). Also installed a new brake system with ventilated discs 380mm two-piece calipers with six pistons. This system also features HSA (Hill Start Assist) to help drivers in tow.

The Vantage received several cosmetic changes inspired and developed in the Vantage S and V12 Vantage. The price of the base model starts at $ 118.370 in its coupe and $ 132.870 as roadster (convertible). On the other hand the Vantage S Coupe is available for $ 132.420 with standard manual transmission 6-speed transmission $ 137.670 to $ 137.670 Sportshift II.

The Vantage S is different from the regular version for several aspects mainly because the same 4.7-liter V8 engine can develop up to 430 HP and 361 lb-ft. In addition, the Vantage S features an exhaust system that offers more sporty character to their sound.

Our test unit had the optional aero package "Carbon", which includes accessories such as carbon fiber front spoiler, exterior mirrors, center console, among other details. These not only improve the appearance of the vehicle, also improve aerodynamic performance.

Inside the Aston Martin offers a mixture of styles that define a unique atmosphere. These styles not only come from variety of materials such as Alcantara, leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and seams that integrate and serve as a test of craftsmanship in the cabin.
2013 Aston Martin Vantage S Roadster
2013 Aston Martin Vantage S Roadster

The operation of an Aston Martin is unlike any other since opening its doors. External handles are unique in design and operation, and their gates are of the "swang", ie they are not totally horizontal because they have upward angle.

Once you open the drivers door find the emergency brake lever polished-aluminum-located to the left of the chair. This is another detail that Aston-Martin kept from its English origins, where the wheel is located on the right side of the cab.

Once seated in the drivers seat immediately highlights the pleasant smell of their materials. The texture of the three-bladed sports steering wheel is a contrast between the softness of the leather and the relief of the seams on the inside of the circle.

The seats are surprisingly comfortable and are named "Vantage S" embroidered on their backrests.

The center console has been mainly made of carbon fiber, the buttons and controls in aluminum and sections of the sound system and air conditioning are made of material "piano type".

It also has a small screen that automatically appears when you go back or when we operate the navigation system. On this screen there are 4 buttons with the letters "SPORT", "R", "N" and "D" to operate the manual transmission / automatic. These buttons placed the switch to start the vehicle, where you must insert and press the key to wake the Vantange S.

The sound of the vehicle at the time of turn is more rabid than I expected and is able to draw a smile on the face of any enthusiast.

Once rolling in "SPORT" is quite sporty handling thanks to the firmness of your suspension and steering system. However, the Vantage S is friendly for long trips because their seats are extremely comfortable, the cabin is relatively large, the spaces to locate parts and features the amazing sound system 1000 watts developed by Bang & Olufsen (optional).

Vantage Convertible version has a fabric roof that is operated by a switch on the center console. Importantly, the vehicle need not be completely stopped to be open or closed.

In conclusion, the Aston Martin Vantage S is a super-elegant sport that can be used daily without becoming uncomfortable. Its 430HP engine maintains an aggressive sound that does not become annoying to the occupants and / or neighbors. The fuel consumption levels are quite respectable (14/21 mpg city / highway).

The Vantange S maneuverability is impressive thanks to excellent weight distribution. The fact that you have located the engine low, as centrally as possible, have been installed in the center of the vehicle transmission and with large Bridgestone Potenza 19 ", have been responsible for this excellent performance.