2015 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster GT
You know the type: no matter how special a car some folks have, they’re always on the lookout for something…special-er. If that’s you, our next car is one you may not have thought of: the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster GT. Sure you could buy one just for the beauty, or even its rarity. But it’s a whole lot more special than that!
One look at the 2015 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster GT, and there’s no mistaking that it belongs in the legendary Aston Martin family.
But while traditional styling cues are obvious, and the overall look is far from fresh, there’s no denying this car is truly stunning; and proof that there is still plenty of shelf life left for a design that works this well.
Sure it’s a beautiful, exotic sports car, but there’s a subtle gentlemanly manner about it that enables it to be appreciated by any age group and members of all income brackets.
Of course it all flows from the iconic grillwork, here nicely trimmed in white and made of real aluminum, not chromed plastic. This Skyfall Silver livery features additional white accents throughout; and is 1 of 5 special paint schemes you can choose from.
Things are clean and uncluttered in the rear, with Aston feeling the design speaks for itself, so no need for excessive badging. Though the added GT graphics package on our tester suggests otherwise.
19-inch graphite forged alloy wheels wear 245-series rubber in front, 285 in the back. The fabric top is power operated and stores itself under a hard tonneau cover and also hides pop-up roll-over protection bars.
Inside, it’s certainly GT car spacious, not the more cramped feeling of say a Corvette. The gauges resemble fine watch faces, and all interior switch gear have a solid, high quality feel. The leather is deep, lush, and even smells terrific.
It’s not all great, though, as with hardly any miles on our test car, some interior surfaces are already showing significant wear. The screen for navigation rises from the top of the dash; while a central controller is mounted lower on the center stack.
And as for options, how about a 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system for $8,330?
But, trunk space for picking up whatever luxury items the typical Aston Martin customer picks up is fairly limited to just 5.0 cubic-ft.
We were very pleased to see that our tester also sported a manual shifter! It engages swiftly and is accompanied by excellent clutch feel. The 6-speed can be replaced with a 7-speed automatic should you decide to wimp out.
Classic British touches abound, like the outboard parking brake handle. But perhaps our favorite feature is sliding the crystal key into the ignition; as it reminds us of Superman accessing the Fortress of Solitude, and the results that it triggers are no less stunning.
Power erupts from a 4.7-liter V8, and while it doesn’t have the bite of a supercharged Jaguar F-type, its bark is much nastier with a more realistic and primal sound. Make sure you engage Sport mode for full effect. Horsepower is 430; torque comes in at 361 lb-ft.
Our drive time was limited to a few days in the Garden State, so we weren’t able to hit the track, but Aston claims a 0-60 of 4.6-seconds and that seems spot on.
The suspension is very tight for a GT, with ride quality easily on the firm side, falling just within daily driver parameters. It handles well enough to surprise, so you’ll need much more than sweeping back roads to find this car’s limits.
Horsepower numbers are certainly far from class leading, but as with most classic roadsters, power numbers are not the be-all-end-all.
As at no matter which speed you’re travelling, this car feels like a true driver’s car; the proverbial extension of your driving soul, if you will. And can both help you remember the joy of driving and forget about whatever was bothering you before you got behind the wheel.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are about what you’d expect; gas guzzler tax worthy at 13-City, 19-Highway, 15-Combined. The Energy Impact Score is thus dismal at 22.0-barrels of annual oil consumption with CO2 emissions of 9.6-tons.
Now for the good news, the V8 Vantage GT in Coupe form is actually the cheapest Aston Martin you can buy, starting at $104,425. Roadster guise of course, costs a bit more at $117,225.
Time may be winding down for this platform, but the 2015 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster GT still exudes appeal and sexiness that few manufactures can channel. And while you may choose to buy it based on looks alone; after spending only a little time driving it, you’ll quickly realize that motoring is this car’s greatest asset.
- Engine: 4.7 liter
- Horsepower: 430
- Torque: 361 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds
- EPA: 13 mpg city/ 19 mpg highway,
- Energy Impact: 22.0 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 9.6 tons/yr
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style
What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!
While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.
It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.
This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.
It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.
That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.
It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.
With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.
We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.
Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.
The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.
We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.
Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.
Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.
For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.
Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
- Engine: 5.5-liter V8
- Horsepower: 670
- 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
- EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
- Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
- Torque: 460 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph