Aston never lets me down!2011 Aston Martin Virage Coupe and Volante revealed
By Tim Beissmann | February 23rd, 2011
Aston Martin has released the first official images and details of the 2011 Aston Martin Virage ahead of its unveiling at next week’s Geneva Motor Show.
Developed on the Gaydon-based manufacturer’s VH architecture, the Virage Coupe and Virage Volante will sit between Aston Martin DB9 and Aston Martin DBS in the line-up, designed to be a “supremely elegant and powerful … understated sports car”. (‘Virage’ is a French word meaning bend or curve, as well as change or shift.)
The Virage is powered by a hand-built 6.0-litre V12 engine, which produces 365kW of power and 570Nm of torque. The six-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission is still mounted at the back in transaxle fashion like the DB9 and contributes to the vehicle’s overall 50:50 weight balance.
Aston Martin says the driving dynamics have been tuned for a more engaging yet refined experience, allowing the driver to extract the maximum performance from the car with minimal effort.
The Virage features a newly developed Adaptive Damping System, which has 10 unique ride settings – five in normal mode, five in sport mode.
The Sport button on the dashboard has the usual effect, sharpening the throttle response, speeding up the gear changes and holding gears for longer.
Lightweight Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes are standard, offering more progressive stopping power and more resistance to fade than conventional cast-iron discs. The lower rotational mass also provides improved acceleration.
The styling of the Virage draws inspiration from the One-77, with a new aluminium metal five-vane front grille and single bi-xenon headlamps at the front, LED side indicators from the profile and a restyled diffuser at the rear.
Of the 200 man-hours it takes to build each Virage, 70 man-hours go into the interior alone. Traditional luxury leather and premium quality surfaces are teamed with a 6.5-inch high resolution display, Garmin satellite navigation system, fascia-mounted joystick and a 700W premium audio system with Bluetooth phone connectivity and full iPod integration.
Aston Martin has confirmed it is now taking orders for the Virage Coupe and Virage Volante across its 41-country, 132-dealership network.
Pricing will be confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1.
First Drive: 2012 Aston Martin VirageThe gobsmacked masses who cart their own luggage to avoid tipping valets won't care where the Virage fits in the Aston firmament. They will perceive its driver as a minor God, stepping aside as they would never do for the tanned Hercules astride an Italian bull. If that mythical standing outranks base horsepower, the Virage is your kind of chariot.
2012 Aston Martin Virage - Driving ImpressionsMore of the Same, Only Better
The Aston Martin Virage is a better car than the DB9. But is that enough? The answer to that question is in the hands of the 12,000 people who have bought a DB9 since it was launched way back in 2003. The Virage is a car with considerable appeal to someone who wants to replace their DB9, but doesn't want to step up to the harder, edgier, 510-hp, $270,000 DBS. For a company that took 70 years to sell its first 10,000 cars, that pool of DB9 owners is a huge group that already understands the appeal of this relatively exclusive, uniquely British sports car. Maybe there's method in Aston's madness after all.
Aston Martin Virage reviewThe middle child in a growing Aston Martin family.
Like most top-quality exotic cars today, the Virage has numerous choices of suspension firmness by way of its new Adaptive Damping System and a Sport setting that also remaps throttle and transmission response. They do have an effect, but regardless of setting the Virage is a nicely stable machine, with just a light touch of welcome understeer as you nimbly turn in and confidence as you accelerate out. This, with a reasonable ride that is commensurate with the Aston’s reputation...and cost.
Aston Martin VirageSo although there may be a whiff of familiarity about the Virage – not just in name but in its concept and execution – this is, without question, a very fine GT car. And if they’d called it the DB10, well, it might have been even better still.
Aston Martin Virage (2011) CAR reviewThe wonderful V12 sounds fantastic and gives strong performance. Yet while 85 per cent of the peak torque arrives at only 1,500rpm, throttle response isn’t always as instant as you would expect. And overall, acceleration and handling aren’t much different to the DB9. Still, the Virage always feels special, thanks to its pace and sheer character – as well as its cabin.
The Virage is great fun: more exciting and more refined than the DB9 and much more subtle than the slightly gaudy DBS. You might wonder when Aston will really show a new generation of styling, but you can hardly argue with the evolutionary approach when it yields results as good as the Virage.