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?
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.
* 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