Aston Martin introduces the new Virage – a car that will sit between the elegant DB9 and sporting DBS to provide customers with a car that remains luxurious and understated but delivers increased, accessible performance.
The front mid-mounted V12 engine’s torque delivery provides outstanding performance, coupled with the inherent agility and perfect weight distribution delivering the ideal balance between sports car performance and trademark luxury exemplified by modern Aston Martins.
Powered by Aston Martin’s hand-built 6.0 liter V12 engine producing 490hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, it’s mated to a six-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission mounted on the transaxle through a carbon fiber driveshaft. This contributes to the perfect 50:50 weight balance. The Virage’s dynamics have been tuned to deliver a more refined driving experience with a newly developed Adaptive Damping System (ADS). It ‘reads’ the road to provide optimum handling, adapting to different conditions. The system can selects up to five different stiffness settings within normal mode, and a further five stiffer settings in sport mode.
Aiding driver control, a ‘Sport’ button on the fascia allows the driver to select a sharper throttle response and faster gear changes, while also holding the gears without automatically shifting up at the rev limiter. The Virage will be delivered with Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes as standard. Powerful, resistant to fade and much lighter than conventional cast-iron rotors, the CCM braking system means that not only is the overall vehicle weight reduced, but the weight saving at each wheel means that a better balance between ride comfort and handling can be struck. Lower rotational mass also provides improved acceleration.
The bonded aluminum ‘VH’ architecture forms the backbone of all Aston Martin’s sports cars, taking inspiration from the aerospace industry where weight reduction is the ultimate goal. Strong yet light, the versatile platform allows the production of a Virage coupe and Volante convertible.
A new aluminum front grille, inspired by the One-77, features five horizontal vanes, chamfered to create an aerofoil profile. The front fenders distinguish the Virage from its stable mates, housing a new interpretation of the Aston Martin iconic side strake, which houses six LEDs to form the side repeater light.
The Virage side sills carry the simplicity of the front bumper through to the rear diffuser, which houses a body-colored blade accentuating the width of the car.
As drivers and passengers open the signature swan-wing doors, they are greeted by seven hides of the finest Bridge of Weir leather. It is formed into a pinstripe welt that flows down either side of the fascia and along the seats and doors.
Each Virage will have 70 man-hours of craftsmanship lavished on the interior alone, to create the famous sophisticated Aston Martin interior. In all, over 200 man-hours will be spent handcrafting the Virage at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. It becomes the tenth major production car to be built there in less than eight years.
Simplicity runs throughout the car, with the new integrated Satellite Navigation system developed in conjunction with Garmin. The new system simplifies operation through the existing four-way joystick mounted on the fascia. A new 6.5-inch high resolution display uses the latest graphics and maps to visually and aurally guide the driver to their destination.
Standard equipment includes heated seats (Sports seats only), cruise control, satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephone and the powerful 700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby Pro Logic II and full iPod integration.
The Virage and Virage Volante are on sale now, available from Aston Martin’s global dealership network spanning 132 dealerships in 41 countries. Pricing will be confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show, where it will be joined by two further new cars; the V8 Vantage S and the new Cygnet city car, all of which will be brought to production by Aston Martin in 2011.
What’s in a name?
viragem. (French Noun); bend, turn, curve, change, shift (in orientation)
Aston Martin’s use of nmes beginning with a ‘V’ dates back to the optional ‘Vantage’ engine on the 1950s DB2. So when the DP2034 (an internal design project number) had to be found a name in 1985, the hunt began for an evocative word to continue the tradition. The call went out to the factory’s craftsmen, its customers and the Aston Martin Owners Club, ending in the collation of hundreds of suggestions. Eventually the Chairman, Victor Gauntlett, and his Directors chose Virage to be the moniker of an all-new car, destined to open a new chapter in the company’s history. This name has now been revived for the latest car from Aston Martin.