2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster (10 Photos)

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Aston Martin just took the wraps off its fastest and most powerful convertible — the 2015 V12 Vantage roadster joins the V12 Vantage S coupe. Powered by a naturally-aspirated 565-horspower, 6.0-liter V-12 engine, Aston says the roadster sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 201 mph.

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The new roadster trades the coupe's aluminum-accented grille design for a carbon fiber one trimmed with black or titanium silver mesh. Aston Martin says the new look maximizes airflow and is inspired by the CC100 Speedster concept and its Vantage racecars. Inside, customers can choose a myriad of bespoke colors, trim, and materials through Aston Martin's Q customization arm.

Aston Martin said the car will arrive in markets around the world later this year; no word yet on a U.S. on-sale date. Check out the gallery below.

By Jennifer Geiger | July 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2008-14 Aston Martin Vehicles

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 5,001 versions of Aston Martin vehicles, including the 2008-2014 DB9 and V8 Vantage, 2009-2012 DBS, 2010-2012 Rapide, 2014 Rapide S, 2011-2012 V12 Vantage, 2011-2014 V8 Vantage S and 2012 Virage vehicles.

The Problem: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that a manufacturing error could cause the accelerator pedal arm to fail. "If the accelerator pedal arm breaks, the engine will return to idle and the driver will be unable to maintain or increase engine speed, increasing the risk of a crash," NHTSA said in a statement. This is an expansion of an earlier recall.

The Fix: Dealers will replace the affected accelerator pedal assemblies for free.

What Owners Should Do: Aston Martin will notify owners starting Feb. 7. Owners can call Aston Martin at 888-923-9988 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | February 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Tesla Chief Wants To Sink 007's Lotus

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At first, his identity was as secret as British super-spy James Bond's next mission. But the name of the mystery bidder who purchased the Lotus submarine-car prop used by Roger Moore's 007 in "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) ultimately was revealed: Musk … Elon Musk. The "eclectic billionaire" CEO of Tesla Motors purchased the Lotus for $989,000 last month at a London auction, according to USA Today.

Musk told USA Today that the car held great childhood nostalgia for him and he had been disappointed to learn that it did not really transform into a submarine; Musk plans to change all that by outfitting the vehicle with a Tesla powertrain. While the Aston Martin perhaps is the car most closely associated with the iconic Bond character, the Lotus is easily one of the most famed gadgets in 007's arsenal. In the film, Bond drives the car off a pier and into the ocean, the car's wheels retract, fins extend and voila, a luxury-sub sports car. (Bond, after all, would never be seen in a sub-compact.)

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By Matt Schmitz | October 21, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2012-14 Aston Martin DB9, Virage, V8 and V12 Vantage, Rapide

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Aston Martin is recalling 689 sports cars due to a manufacturing error that could cause the throttle pedal arm to break, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Affected vehicles include model-year 2012-14 DB9, Virage, V8 and V12 Vantage, and Rapide.

The recalled vehicles were manufactured between May 14, 2012, and April 10, 2013. If the throttle pedal arm breaks, the engine will return to idle and the driver will be unable to maintain or increase engine speed, increasing the risk of a crash.

Aston Martin will notify owners according to a still-unspecified schedule, and dealers will replace the throttle pedal assemblies for free. Owners may call the automaker at 888-923-9988 or the NHTSA vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | June 11, 2013 | Comments (1)

2014 Aston Martin Rapide S: First Look

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  • Competes with: Rolls-Royce Ghost, Bentley Continental Flying Spur, Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG, Porsche Panamera Turbo S
  • Looks like: The Rapide adopted a conjoined grille
  • Drivetrain: 550-hp, 6.0-liter V-12 with six-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Next month

Aston Martin's four-door Rapide S replaces the Rapide for 2014. Typical of "S" designations, it brings more power to the British marque's only four-door car. Aston Martins are about as easy to distinguish as Kardashians, but the Rapide S has one giveaway: the grille, which joins the upper and lower portions where the Rapide left them split. Aston Martin says it works in conjunction with a revised hood and front bumper to improve pedestrian protection, which is in line with Europe's latest pedestrian-impact regulations.

By Kelsey Mays | January 23, 2013 | Comments (6)

James Bond Cars You Can Afford

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The newest James Bond movie, "Skyfall," hits theaters Nov. 9 and marks 50 years of Bond coolness in motion pictures. The epitome of James Bond impersonation goes to a car collector in Ohio who dropped $4.6 million for the actual 1964 Aston Martin DB5 movie car driven by Sean Connery in "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball." The rest of us have to settle for scale models of the quintessential spymobile, as even DB5s not driven by 007 are highly collectable and worth nearly half a million dollars in pristine condition.

But there's hope yet. After 50 years on the big screen, Bond has piloted countless spy, getaway and chase cars. They may not be as cool as a vintage Aston Martin, but there are affordable Bond cars available to attain ultimate Bond nerdom.

By Joe Bruzek | November 6, 2012 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2010-2012 Aston Martin V12 Vantage

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Aston Martin is recalling 169 model-year 2010-12 versions of the V12 Vantage coupe due to problems with the tire pressure monitoring system, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the affected vehicles, the low tire pressure warning light won't illuminate until the pressure is more than 25% below the recommended level. Underinflated tires could lead to tire failure and a possible crash.

Aston Martin has not yet provided an owner notification schedule, but dealers will reprogram the software for free. Owners can call Aston Martin at 888-923-9988 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 15, 2012 | Comments (0)

2013 Aston Martin DB9: First Look

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  • Competes with: Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo, Bentley Continental Supersports 
  • Looks like: The DB9 could use a more thorough styling update 
  • Drivetrain: 510-hp, 6.0-liter V-12 and six-speed automatic transmission 
  • Hits dealerships: November 2012 

For the 2013 model year, the Aston Martin DB9 gets a few exterior tweaks and more luxury appointments. Although the exterior updates don't radically change the look of the now-7-year-old DB9, the big news is that the model gets a more powerful V-12 power plant.

Borrowed from the new Aston Martin Vanquish, the new V-12 engine makes 510 horsepower and 457 pounds-feet of torque. While that's a bit less power than what's available in the Vanquish, it's a 40-hp increase over the DB9's old V-12. The new engine benefits from a revised engine block, dual variable-valve timing, a revised intake manifold and combustion chambers, and enlarged throttle bodies. The new V-12 can propel the Aston from zero to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed of 183 mph, which is similar to the old engine's stats. The new V-12 is likely more fuel efficient, however. No word yet on gas mileage.

By Colin Bird | September 19, 2012 | Comments (6)

2013 Aston Martin Vanquish: First Look

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  • Competes with: Ferrari 458 Italia, Ferrari FF, Lamborghini Aventador, Audi R8  
  • Looks like: Only a trained Aston Martin enthusiast can tell it apart from the others 
  • Drivetrain: 565-hp, 6.0-liter V-12 and six-speed automatic transmission  
  • Hits dealerships: Early 2013

After an almost seven-year hiatus in the U.S., the Aston Martin Vanquish returns for the 2013 model year to take on other preeminent supercars from Lamborghini and Ferrari. The Vanquish will replace the DBS when it's discontinued at the end of the year. The announcement comes as Aston Martin prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary early next year.

The Vanquish's exterior and interior styling borrow heavily from the Aston Martin One-77; in fact, the boutique carmaker says many of the structural elements in the new Vanquish are derived from the ultra-supercar, including its digital gauge readouts. The $1.4 million Aston Martin 77 will be replaced by a new (range-topping) Aston Martin V12 Zagato later this fall.

By Colin Bird | June 20, 2012 | Comments (1)

Daily News Briefs: June 11, 2012

2012 Honda Fit

Honda says that shipping vehicles from Japan to the United States is not profitable, and the automaker will limit the amount of vehicles it sends to the country, according to Automotive News. Honda produces most of its popular vehicles in the U.S. — about 85% of the cars it sells here are made in North America — but a glaring omission is the Honda Fit, which makes up the bulk of Honda's exports to the U.S. The Fit makes absolutely no profit for Honda in America and very little for dealers, too, people familiar with the matter told Automotive News. Because of this, and combined with "red hot" Fit sales in Japan, U.S. allocation of the subcompact will remain extremely tight, the trade paper reports. Honda is building a factory in Mexico that will make a new, more profitable version of the Fit for the U.S. market by 2014.

In other news:

By Colin Bird | June 11, 2012 | Comments (0)

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