1 Mar 2011
NESTLED in Aston Martin’s range between the luxurious DB9 and hardcore DBS, the Virage revived a Newport Pagnell nameplate not seen since the death of the British brand’s boxy coupe of the same name in the mid-1990s.
Sitting on the latest development of the aluminium VH architecture that underpinned all Astons (except the Cygnet) from 2003, the Virage was available from launch in coupe and ‘Volante’ convertible guises.
Representing the median point in Aston’s grand tourer range, the power output of the Virage’s hand-built V12 was 365kW – an average of the 350kW and 380kW produced by the DB9 and DBS respectively.
Torque however, is aligned with the DBS, which at 570Nm was 30Nm lower than that of the DB9. The rear wheels received the ample power and torque through an updated ‘Touchtronic II’ six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shift-operated manual override.
Behind the DBS-esque alloy wheels lurked standard-fit carbon ceramic brakes – also like those of the DBS – to provide fade-resistant, potent stopping power while reducing weight.
It attributes at least part of this to a new active suspension system, which can react to road conditions in order to improve grip. The system can select from five stiffness settings in normal mode, with a further five available in sports mode.
The interior raised the bar for Aston, with stylish glass buttons and leather upholstery with coloured piping complemented by contrasting stitching to create a ‘pinstripe’ detail on the centre console and door trims.
Also inside, the Virage addressed criticism levelled at Aston Martin for poor sat-nav performance and usability by debuting a new Garmin-based satellite navigation system with high-resolution 6.5-inch display that was claimed to offer simplified operation.
A halfway house between the aggressive, all-out DBS and the more comfort-oriented DB9, the Virage shared the wider track and bulging haunches of the DBS but exhibited its own styling theme that simultaneously referenced the One-77 flagship and simpler-looking DB9.
Standard kit included heated seats, cruise control, satellite navigation, Bluetooth and 700W premium sound system with iPod integration.