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

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.

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The 2023 Crosstrek starts at $23,645.

Subaru

Subaru is one of the best at listening to its customers' needs, and the Crosstrek is a great example of that mindset. It's a useful vehicle with plenty of interior space and enough ground clearance to take its passengers well of the beaten path. Today, Subaru announced pricing for the 2023 Crosstrek and Crosstrek Hybrid. The duo will go on sale this summer.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek's cabin is adventure-ready and packed with great tech. Subaru

The standard Crosstrek starts at $23,645 before destination and the Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $36,845. Five trims are available for the standard model, including Base, Premium, a new Special Edition, Sport, and Limited. The Hybrid comes in a single trim level. All Crosstrek variants get all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring and 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The Base, Premium, and Special Edition trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower. The Sport and Limited trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower. Most models come with a continuously variable transmission, but the Base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Crosstrek Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors. The plug-in system can deliver 17 miles of electric range.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek delivers 8.7 inches of ground clearance.Subaru

True to Subaru form, the Crosstrek comes with a full suite of advanced driver aids, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure alerts, adaptive cruise, and more. These features are only available for CVT-equipped models. The Limited trim and the Crosstrek Hybrid add automatic high beams, reverse automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

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The majority of new car buyers paid a markup in January 2022.

VW

It's no secret that new car prices are climbing every year, as new technology and features make their way into even the most basic models. The issue is compounded by massive supply chain issues that have caused vehicle shortages for nearly every major automaker. Some dealers are taking advantage of record low inventory levels by marking up prices, and unfortunately, the problem isn't limited to a handful of bad apples. In analyzing recent sale price data, automotive publication Edmunds found that buyers paid a markup in a whopping 82.2 percent of all new vehicle purchases in January 2022, compared to just 2.8 percent a year before. Overall, the average transaction price rose to $728 above MSRP for new car purchases.


Tesla factoryTesla is looking to expand production in the U.S. beyond the confines of its Fremont factory. Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Cadillac buyers saw the largest markups, to the tune of $4,048 on average in January. Land Rover and Kia weren't much better, with average markups of $2,565 and $2,289, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, Alfa Romeo buyers got discounts that averaged $3,421, while people who bought Volvo or Lincoln vehicles got smaller discounts of $869 and $510, respectively.

Some automakers have taken a stand against dealer markups and the general lack of transparency seen in pricing across the board. Ford and General Motors have been vocal in recent months, threatening to withhold inventory from dealers found to be slapping markups on new vehicles. As Edmunds notes, both automakers have important vehicle launches on the horizon that neither can afford to flub, and inconsistent pricing or markups is a good way to alienate new customers out of the gate.


Cadillac EscaladeCadillac buyers paid the largest markups of any brand. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

If you're thinking of shopping for a new car, the best way to avoid paying a markup is to wait. The pandemic and ongoing supply chain issues have thrown kinks into every automaker's operations that will take time to iron out. That said, it's clear that some brands are committed to having no funny business when it comes to dealerships' pricing and communication. It's possible to get a vehicle at MSRP, or even below in some cases, so if you're in a position that requires you to buy a new car, shop around to get the best deal.

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