New Model News

Get ready to drool: Aston Martin reveals Vantage Roadster

Aston Martin has debuted a convertible version of its Vantage coupe.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

Aston Martin is once again shaking (not stirring) up its lineup with the introduction of a new model. This is its second in four months, having debuted the DBX sport utility vehicle in late Novermber in conjunction with the LA Auto Show.

It's time to drool over the capability and raw sex appeal of the new Vantage Roadster. It joins the Vantage Coupe in the Aston stable as an open-top two-seater option.

Aston Martin Vantage Roadster

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

"Open-top Aston Martins are always firm favorites with our customers, so it's very exciting to introduce the Vantage Roadster," said Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer. "For many, driving with the roof down is the true definition of the sports car experience as it truly brings your senses to life. Vantage has always delivered the purest of thrills, but in Roadster form that adrenaline rush is set to go to the next level".

The superluxury has installed a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine in the Vantage Roadster. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the model gets from zero to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and can hit 190 with the roof raised.

Despite removing the coupe roof and replacing it with a hardy convertible top, the Vantage Roadster is just 60 kg more than the Vantage Coupe. The roof also benefits from a new Z-fold mechanism. Drivers can lowered the roof in 6.7 or raise it in 6.8 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. That makes the roof the fastest of any production model vehicle.

Aston Martin has engineered the Vantage Roadster to retain the dynamic drivability as the Vantage Coupe, without compromise. The rear dampers have been specially modified for the car, as well as bespoke Adaptive Damping System software and ESP calibration.

Drivers have their choice of Sport, Sport+, and Track chassis modes that have been specially tuned for the roadster. The car has the same powertrain modes as the Vantage Coupe, and they work in harmony with the chassis modes.

Despite having to store the roof in the trunk, with the roof stowed, the car still has enough space in the boot for a golf bag.

"Convertible sports cars are often seen as compromised when compared to their Coupe equivalents, but the Vantage Roadster remains absolutely dedicated true to its mission of delivering precise, agile and expressive handling dynamics combined with stonking straight-line performance," said Matt Becker, Aston Martin Chief Engineer. "And of course, there's the added dimension of driving a great-sounding sports car with the roof down."

The Vantage Roadster will run you $161,000. First deliveries are scheduled to begin during Q2 2020.

General Motors has stepped in and utilized its Warren transmission plant for face mask production.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors launched the project to produce face masks at scale on Friday, March 20, amid increasing pressure from the Trump administration to step up like Ford and FCA had. By next week, the automaker plans to deliver the first 20,000 masks to frontline workers.

"Our team began looking at ways we could quickly utilize our talents and resources to help in the shared fight against COVID-19," said Peter Thom, GM vice president, Global Manufacturing Engineering. "Working around the clock, our team rallied with incredible passion and focus to come up with a plan to produce masks that will help protect the women and men on the front lines of this crisis."

2020 face mask coronavirus production General Motors worked to create a clean environment for mask production. Photo courtesy of General Motors

How did it all come together? Here's a breakdown of the timeline of six days, 23 hours, 30 minutes, in GM's own words.

March 20-26, 2020

At 3 p.m. on Friday, March 20, the core team assembled for the first time, kicking off the project and starting the timer.

"Because we wanted to move fast, the team set an incredibly aggressive goal: To have the production line up and running tests within a week," said Thom.

More than 30 engineers, designers, buyers and members of the manufacturing team were asked to help with product development, sourcing materials and equipment, and planning the production process.

"The first people we called were those who work with fabric vehicle components," said Karsten Garbe, GM plant director, Global Pre-Production Operations. "In a few days, the company's seat belt and interior trim experts became experts in manufacturing face masks."

2020 face mask coronavirus production The company's interior and trim experts had to quickly pivot to working with new materials. Photo courtesy of General Motors

The team sourced the necessary raw materials by leveraging GM's existing supply chain. These materials include metal nose pieces, elastic straps and blown, non-woven fabric filter material. Simultaneously, GM collaborated with JR Automation in Holland, Michigan and Esys Automation in Auburn Hills to design and build the custom machinery needed to assemble the masks.

For the project, the team selected the ISO Class 8-equivalent cleanroom at GM's manufacturing plant in Warren. Work began at the Warren facility by removing existing equipment from the cleanroom. The team cleared approximately 31,000 square feet to accommodate the mask production lines. Crews then installed new electrical service lines to power the production equipment and assembly stations.

2020 face mask coronavirus production Production will begin next week and within two weeks ramp up to 50,000 masks per day, with the potential to increase to 100,000 per day. Photo courtesy of General Motors

With the site cleared and prepped, production equipment and materials were then delivered to the Warren facility. Crews worked around the clock to install equipment and stage the production line. The team then tested each step in the production process, looking for opportunities to improve quality and production speed.

March 27, 2020

At 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 27, the project team had their first production-made mask in their hands.

"Not only did the team make their goal, but they over-delivered," said Thom. "They actually beat our deadline, running the first mask through the equipment 30 minutes ahead of target. We're excited because this means we're even closer to being able to protect the healthcare teams who are working tirelessly to save lives."

March 30, 2020

The projected production volume is just as aggressive as the project's timeline. By Monday, March 30, more than 2,000 masks were produced by teams working through the weekend. These initial test samples will be used to ensure the quality standards are met. Once these quality measures are completed, the team expects to start producing masks for delivery early next week.

2020 face mask coronavirus production Engineers and technicians set-up and test the machines that will be used to manufacture Level 1 face masks Monday, March 30, 2020 at the General Motors Warren, Michigan manufacturing facility. Photo courtesy of General Motors

GM and the UAW will seek more than two dozen paid volunteers from Detroit-area plants to staff mask operations. In addition, GM has implemented a series of safety measures to protect these team members through physical distancing, enhanced on-site cleaning and pre-entry health screening.

Planned: April 8, 2020

The team expects to have 20,000 masks ready for delivery on Wednesday, April 8. Once the line is running at full speed, it will be able to produce up to 50,000 masks every day – or up to 1.5 million masks a month. GM is currently developing a plan for distributing the masks, including using some of this important safety equipment to protect employees in critical GM operations.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

Aston Martin has revealed its dark side. The most bespoke possibilities of the luxury automaker's lineup come to life as the new DBX sport utility vehicle gets its turn with a fresh commission designed by the Q by Aston Martin team and the buyer, in tandem.

"While our designer specifications previously demonstrated an incredibly broad range of choice and expression from our existing palette of colors and materials, 'Q by Aston Martin' offers the tools to those who have an uninhibited desire to push the boundaries of what is achievable," said Marek Reichman, Aston Martin Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer.

Aston Martin DBX

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda


The model shown is an example of the ability to switch on the DBX's dark mode. It features Satin Xenon Grey paint, 22-inch gloss black painted wheels, carbon fiber lower exterior pack, black anodized tread and sill plaques, a bespoke diamond patterned satin chrome aluminum jewelry pack machined from solid, and Obsidian Black leather upholstery. Carbon fiber appointments, machined from solid consisting of 280 individual layers of carbon fiber, are on the center console and door inserts. A single piece of herringbone carbon fiber sit on the floor of the car's rear storage area.

The center console's carbon fiber's preparation included a 12-hour curing process and 90-hours of five-axis milling.

Pricing for the Aston Martin DBX starts at $189,000.