Aston Martin Vantage Roadster limited edition gets 100-year-old styling cues

Aston Martin’s oldest-known car is turning 100 years old in 2021, and the British firm is celebrating the occasion with a limited-edition Vantage Roadster built by its Q division. It was commissioned by the company’s oldest dealer.

Located in Walton-on-Thames in England, distributor Aston Martin HWM worked with Q to bring some of the 1921 A3’s design cues into the 21st century. The process was easier said than done considering the A3 and the Vantage share little more than four wheels, and creating a completely new car from the ground up was seemingly not an option. 

Instead, the commemorative car is a Vantage Roadster that wears a specific grille with a black mesh insert, a bright aluminum frame, and a replica of the emblem fitted to the A3. It also gains redesigned fender inserts painted in a shade of gray that echoes the A3’s hood and fitted with black strap above a “No_3” emblem. Most of the Vantage’s exterior trim is black, and bronze brake calipers visible behind 20-inch wheels add a finishing touch to the look.

Obsidian Black leather dominates the cabin, though Chestnut Tan inserts and stitching ensure the Vantage isn’t fully blacked-out. One of the coolest design features found in this limited-edition convertible is the use of brass for three of the dials found on the center stack. They create a visual link between the 2021 Vantage and the 1921 A3.

Aston Martin made no retro changes under the hood, which is just as well considering the A3 used a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 11 horsepower. Power for the Vantage comes from a 4.0-liter V8 borrowed from Mercedes-AMG and twin-turbocharged to develop 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque. It spins the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Aston Martin quotes a 3.6-second sprint from zero to 60 mph and a top speed of 190 mph. For context, the A3 made headlines in 1923 by lapping the Brooklands track at 84.5 mph.

The 1920s-inspired Vantage is on sale now, though Aston Martin chose not to reveal how many units will be made, how much each one will cost, and whether any will be sold in America. We’ve contacted the firm for more details.

As for the A3, it’s not for sale, even if you ask nicely and bring a big wad of cash; it’s owned by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust. It will be shown at the annual Concours of Elegance taking place in September 2021 near London.

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