Aston Martin is bidding to have its Vantage Roadster ready in time for the spring next year - and these official photos of a development car show how the 911 Convertible rival will look. Using a roofless version of the brand's aluminium-intensive structure and the same AMG-sourced twin-turbo 4.0-litre as the coupe, the roadster is on course to be Aston's sharpest drop-top yet, adding wind in your hair fun to an unfiltered 510hp V8 soundtrack.
No technical details have been released yet, but we're not expecting any major departure from the existing coupe; aside from the folding rag top, the roadster does appear to be physically unchanged from the regular machine. It will almost certainly land with the eight-speed automatic gearbox, although the seven-speed manual - presently only available with the Vantage AMR - is surely likely to become an option in 2020.
Lopping off the tin top will obviously require additional strengthening elsewhere in the structure, and a folding roof mechanism can be a fairly hefty bit of kit, so expect the Vantage Roadster to add a few kilos to the coupe's 1,530kg kerbweight. That'll have an impact on performance, no doubt, so we'd also expect a retuning of suspension settings and an additional tenth or two added to the coupe's 3.6 second 0-62mph time. Not that anyone's likely to be counting.
When it does arrive the Vantage Roadster will have to make up ground on the 992 Convertible, which arrived with its hardtop sibling this year and is already on roads. Aston's decision to stagger the launch of its Vantage models is likely related to its wider workload; finalising development on the all-important DBX and completing its new St Athan facility have been the firm's highest priorities.
No doubt the company will be hoping 2020 will bear the fruits of its labour - and that those all-important share prices will grow as a result. With an SUV already in the offing, a very pretty drop-top sports car is as good a place to start as any.