Aston Martin Virage Volante

16 May, 2011 4:15pm Jack Rix

Can the Volante version of new model prove to be as good to drive as the coupé?

Verdict

5
VIEW the Virage as an evolution of the DB family, rather than an all-new model, and it makes sense. Dynamic compromises between the Volante and coupé are hard to detect, which means having the option of feeling the wind in your hair makes the drop-top the more desirable model. Stunning looks, effortless performance...this is Aston at its very best.

WHEN it comes to evocative names, few companies have 
such a rich list as Aston Martin. Occasionally, though, the car doesn’t live up to the badge. 
The original 1988 Virage was 
a low point, so can this new 
version finally do the name 
justice? We took the wheel of 
the Volante drop-top to find out.

At first glance, you might 
think this is another missed opportunity. The Virage is 
based on the DB9, and although it has a new front end, more sculpted side sills and LED 
running lights, it doesn’t really look much different. So why 
does it warrant a new name?


Well, the Virage is designed 
to sit between the DB9 and the DBS, aiming to deliver the best 
of both worlds – a refined GT 
and a full-fat supercar when you up the pace. Under the bonnet, the 6.0-litre V12 produces 490bhp – that’s 20bhp less 
than in the DBS, but 20bhp 
up on the standard model.

Despite the visual tweaks, 
it’s still hard to distinguish any difference. However, it does look good, adding some sharpness 
to the DB9’s shape. As well 
as a new body, the Virage gets fresh 20-inch alloy wheels, 
carbon ceramic brakes and updated adaptive dampers. The immaculate multi-layered folding hood looks as classy 
as ever. In fact, it fits so snugly that it feels very similar to a coupé with the roof up.

In the past, driving an Aston Martin without a roof could be 
a shaky experience. But those days are now well and truly 
over, and the difference between coupé and Volante is barely 
perceptible. The revised dampers give it a firm but compliant 
ride, making it ideally suited to 
its dual purpose as a long-
distance cruiser and a sports 
car, while the steering is well weighted.

The Virage offers 
an engaging experience at 
any speed, but set the revised three-stage stability control 
to Track, and you can safely explore the limits of what 
the car is capable of. There is huge acceleration available, and while throttle response could be a touch sharper, all is forgiven when 
you hear the throaty roar of 
the V12 engine – especially 
with the roof peeled back. The familiar six-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and well suited to the Virage’s effortless performance, too.

In transition from Coupé to Volante, the Virage gains 105kg, taking its total weight up to 1,890kg. Ultimately, it’s carrying this extra bulk around that 
limits the drop-top’s dynamic 
ability. However, viewed as a 
stylish and beautifully made GT, with a wicked turn of pace when needed, this is an excellent 
addition to the Aston family.

Disqus - noscript

Why is it British car companys can only survive when they are charging the highest prices for their products?
it was the same back in the 60s.
When you bought a British car it had nothing as far as extras.
Everything was an added cost.
Rip off Britain is alive and well.

This virage looks good but don't strike me as anything special because it doesn't look like they really tried to make an effort to make it distinctive enough from the rest of the range. Across between a bit of DB9 and Rapide.

Is it me, or is this car just a little bit ...

GIRLY !!!

Maybe it's the colour, but with the hood down, you half expect to see Ken behind the wheel, Barbie drying her nails in the passenger seat, and the pony in a horsebox at the rear.

What a car! For Aston Martin car building is a art... BMW designed and built by a robot and it shows..

Key specs

* Price: £150,000
* Engine: 6.0-litre V12
* Transmission: Six-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
* Power/torque: 490bhp/570Nm
* 0-62mph: 4.6 seconds
* Top speed: 186mph
* Economy: 18.8mpg
* CO2: 349g/km
* Equipment: Electric seats, sat-nav, cruise control, tracking device, Bluetooth, parking sensors,
tyre pressure monitor
* On sale: Now

AEX 1330
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