Aston Martin N420 Roadster

Drop-top version of special-edition V8 Vantage, carbonfibre aero kit, best Vantage chassis to date

Evo rating
Price
from £104,995
  • Drives and sounds as good as it looks
  • Not quite as quick as its price suggests

It’s not often you’ll find us recommending a convertible over its coupe equivalent, but if there’s one that comes close to bucking the trend it’s Aston’s N420 Roadster.

Built in both coupe (see evo 147) and Roadster versions, each costing £8000 more than the standard models upon which they are based, the N420 is a special-edition V8 Vantage designed to celebrate the company’s ongoing success in the Nürburgring ‘N24’ endurance race (420 refers to the bhp). Fitted with a tasty array of carbonfibre aero and styling tweaks, plus distinctive ten-spoke ‘diamond-turned’ alloys, and available in a choice of colours (including schemes that mimic the N24 racers), the N420 is as distinctive as it is desirable.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The V8 Vantage may be getting a little bit long in the tooth, but Aston seems to have found a sweet spot when it comes to set-up. Consequently in N420 spec the Roadster (like the coupe) feels sharper, sweeter and more memorable than ever before. While undeniably hard-edged, the chassis has a rare ability to feel as settled and at home on tricky B-roads as it does on quick A-roads and motorways.

The 4.7-litre, 420bhp V8 pulls harder sooner yet revs more keenly than previous iterations. True, the Aston isn’t that fast any more, offering similar performance to a BMW M3 for twice the money, but it’s quick enough, and thanks to its warm character and truly rousing delivery it’s also tremendously likeable.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Driving the N420 Roadster the same weekend as Porsche’s much-anticipated 911 Speedster, I have to say that, despite loving the Porsche’s looks, admiring its quality and acknowledging its cast-iron credentials as a rare collectors’ car, it’s the Aston that’s the more engaging and exciting experience. The N420 Roadster might not be viewed as a direct rival to something as specialised as the Speedster, but of the pair not only is the Aston the more handsome, but thanks to the option of a traditional stick-shift transmission, it’s also the more entertaining sports car to drive.

Perhaps the most praiseworthy aspect of the N420 Roadster is that its neat little canvas turret enables the car to deliver all the sensory pleasures of convertible motoring with none of the downsides. The structure feels tight as a drum, the dynamics are sharp as a tack and the styling looks as clean and cohesive as the coupe’s. I’m not normally a convertible advocate, but this is a peach.

Specifications

EngineV8, 4735cc
Max power420bhp @ 7000rpm
Max torque346lb ft @ 5750rpm
0-604.7sec (claimed)
Top speed180mph (claimed)
On saleNow
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-spied-testing-ahead-of-launch
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 spied testing ahead of launch

BMW’s next M4 promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Jul 2020
Visit/mercedes/s-class/22543/new-mercedes-s-class-interior-teased-before-reveal
Mercedes S-Class

New Mercedes S-class interior teased before reveal 

The next S-class, Mercedes’ archetypal luxury saloon and tech leader, is ready for launch
7 Jul 2020
Visit/aston-martin/21621/first-ps275m-aston-martin-db5-goldfinger-continuation-model-produced
Aston Martin

First £2.75m Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation model produced

Aston Martin has finished its first DB5 Goldfinger Continuation; the other 24 James Bonds to receive their cars soon
6 Jul 2020
Visit/skoda/202145/full-2020-skoda-octavia-vrs-engine-range-detailed
Skoda Octavia vRS

Full 2020 Skoda Octavia vRS engine range detailed

Skoda’s engine range for the Octavia vRS topped by a 242bhp turbo petrol
3 Jul 2020