This is the new Aston Martin Virage, a V12-engined GT to sit halfway between the DB9 and the DBS. It will be officially unveiled to the public, along with the Aston Martin Vantage S, at the 2011 Geneva motor show next week.
The Aston Martin Virage, eh? How does it differ from the DB9 and DBS?
Numbers are easy to understand, so let’s start with the figures produced by the 6.0-litre V12 shared between the trio: the DB9 has 470bhp and 442lb ft, the DBS 510bhp and 420lb ft, and the Virage sits neatly between the two with 490bhp and 420lb ft. 0-62mph? 4.8 seconds for the DB9, 4.3 for the DBS, and 4.6 for the new Virage.
There’s no word yet on price, but expect the Virage coupe to cost around £150k and the convertible version to be ten grand more – a Touchtronic-equipped DB9 will set you back £128k (the Volante is £137k) and the hard- and soft-top versions of an automatic DBS are £179k and £188k respectively.
Forget the numbers – what’s special about the new Aston Martin Virage?
It’s subtle, but according to Aston the ‘Virage capitalises on the technology from the DBS and unites it with the comfort and refinement found in the DB9 and Rapide’. Expect something suitably more sporting than the recently revised DB9 but not quite as agile as the DBS; the Virage does without that car’s carbon body panels, so the coupe is 90kg heavier than the DBS, and the drop-top Volante version is 80kg more. But Aston is also talking about Rapide-matching levels of continent crossing, thanks a whole host of NVH tweaks.
Aston’s Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission is standard, but a Sport button on the dash sharpens the throttle response, quickens the shifts and makes sure the ‘box doesn’t upshift even when you’re banging off the rev limiter. There’s a new Adaptive Damping System (ADS) too, with Normal and Sport modes, but with five settings within each mode that car constantly switches between to adapt to different conditions. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, and the Virage features the same size Pirelli P Zero tyres as the DBS.
What about the visual tweaks?
There’s a new grille, which is apparently One-77 inspired, a new clean-cut front bumper, and a new take on Aston’s side strake with 6 LEDs. Tweaked sills and a new rear bumper round off the external changes.
Inside there’s full leather trim (complete with piping) and a very welcome addition, in the form of a new sat-nav system developed with Garmin, which replaces the antiquated, Volvo-derived unit. Alas, the dash still features a plethora of tiny and impossible to use buttons.
The Virage is avaialbe to order now and customer deliveries commence in May 2010.
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