Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster

    The V8 Vantage Roadster’s canvas top stows in less than 15 seconds, and this car is a great alternative to more commonplace vehicles like the 911 Cabriolet and Mercedes-Benz SL. Although it is at the bottom of Aston Martin’s current model line, the V8 Vantage still possesses classic good looks: With its long hood, short rear deck, muscular haunches, and steeply raked windshield, there is virtually nothing Aston could do to improve upon its shape. But under that hood resides a bigger V-8 that bumps output to a respectable 420 horsepower. For the roadster, Aston chose a traditional, power-retracting fabric roof that hides under a body-colored lid rather than a folding hardtop, which would have added weight and compromised the car’s handsome rear profile. Aston offers a 6-speed manual as well as a 6-speed paddle-shift transmission called Sportshift, which provides quick gear changes that automatically blip the throttle on downshifts. As the entry-level Aston, the muscular V8 Vantage in either coupe or roadster form is a welcome addition to the marque and offers a legitimate riposte to the ultramodern Audi R8 and always-chic but sometimes ubiquitous Porsche 911.

    Pros: The smallest Aston is also the most fun to drive.
    Cons: Does not have the performance pedigree of a Porsche.

    Performance and style have perhaps never converged so beautifully as they did in European...
    In May, the home of the American automobile will host three days of films, discussion panels, and...
    Photo by ALPINA Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH + Co. KG
    The refreshed coupe turned heads at the New York International Auto Show...
    The all-electric vehicle’s design is just practical enough to inspire hopes of production…
    Photo by Tom Ziora
    Truly a road-going racecar, we spent some quality time behind the wheel of the Mono…
    With Formula-1 aerodynamics and a powerful engine, this so-called “daily driver” offers flagship-...
    An improved power-to-weight ratio allows the car to reach a top speed of 217 mph…
    McLaren, Rolls-Royce, Porsche, Cadillac, and Lincoln, among others, made stunning showings…
    Photo by Michael Furman
    Vintage Porsches are ascending to new heights among collectors...
    The $100,000 cruiser is tricked out with carbon fiber and solid performance for an electric two-...