HAutos: The New Aston Martin Virage

Aston Martin has presented the world with the only the highest-class luxury automobiles, and they continue to do so with their newest creation, the supremely elegant and powerful Aston Martin Virage. The sexy new model will offer drivers a greater choice of individualized sports car characteristics and a class-leading range, but always upholding the illustrious Aston Martin soul and luxury.

In the new Virage’s case, opposites not only attract; they flourish. The Virage lays perfectly between the lines of the enduringly elegant DB9 and overtly sporty DBS, delivering increased performance, effortless driving, and an incomparable state of luxury. Aston Martin’s revered hand-built 6.0 liter V12 engine produces 490 bhp (365 kW/497 PS) and 570 nM (420 lb. Ft) of torque and through its carbon fiber prop shaft, is joined with a six-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission mounted on the transaxle, resulting in a perfect 50:50 weight balance.

The Virage sits low and wide, asserting the power it possesses. Single bi-xenon headlamps align with the car’s flanks resulting in a crisp and modern front view. A aluminum front grille, inspired by the One-77, features five horizontal vanes which are chamfered to create and aerofoil profile. The front bumper keeps the machine looking clean, making sure the look is free of any visual complexities. The distinguishing front wings house a modern interpretation of Aston Martin’s iconic side strake which houses six LEDs to elegantly form the side repeater. Along the sides, the Virage’s sills continue the clean simplicity of the front bumper to the rear diffuser, which houses a body-colored blade to accentuate the width of the car.

What Aston Martin would be complete without its signature swan wing doors? Imagine opening them up to the rich aroma of seven different hides of the finest Bridge of Weir leather, all hand-stitched by expert craftsmen. Inspired by luxury leather goods, a pinstripe welt has been developed to flow down the sides of the fascia and along the seat and door, drawing one’s gaze through the beautiful interior. To ensure the famed sophisticated Aston Martin interior, each Virage has a minimum of 70 hours of expert craftsmanship lavished on the interior alone.

Technology-wise, Virage fuses the best from the DBS, the DB9, and the Rapide. Aston Martin’s own bonded aluminum “VH” architecture that comprises the backbone of the brand’s sports cars has been inspired from the aerospace industry in which weight reduction is the ultimate goal. It is strong, yet light, and makes the vehicle versatile, allowing for the production of a Virage coupe and Volante. The vehicle also comes equipped with a fully integrated Garmin satellite navigation system, a simplified four-way joystick operation, and a 6.5-inch high high-resolution display, which uses the latest graphics and maps to visually and orally navigate the driver. Also standard in all Virages are heated seats, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, and the powerful 700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby Pro-Logic II and full iPod integration.

The driving experience is exceptional. The Virage has been tuned to deliver an engaged yet more refined driving experience in which the driver can garner the maximum performance of the vehicle with greater ease. An Adaptive Dampening System (ADS) has been newly developed to allow the car to “read” the road and provide optimum handling that is adaptable to changing conditions, with the system selecting up to five different stiffness settings in normal mode and an additional five stiffer settings in sport mode.

Sport mode? Oh, yes. Get ready to channel your inner Andretti. A “Sport” button in the fascia of the car allows the driver to switch to the mode in order to aid driver control. The mode allows the driver to select a sharper throttle response and faster gear changes while also holding the gears without automatically shifting up at the revolution limiter. Additionally, the Virage comes equipped with Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes as standard. The CCM braking system is not only powerful, but is resistant to fade and much lighter than conventional cast-iron discs. Offering progressive and tremendous stopping power, the system means that overall vehicle weight is reduced, with the weight saved at each wheel resulting in improved acceleration and a much better balance between ride comfort and handling.

This prestigious new model is both dynamic and aesthetically stunning, combining outright sports car performance with luxury, comfort, and refinement. A front mid-mounted V12 engine’s torque delivery system provides all the components necessary for the ultimate driving experience – outstanding performance, an inherent agility, and perfect weight distribution. The result is an ideal balance between sports car performance and Aston Martin’s trademark sporting luxury. Of the Virage, Aston Martin CEO Dr. Urlich Bez states, “100 years of automotive history has demonstrated that evolution delivers the best solutions in time. So it is with Virage; it is the next level of evolution in our VH architecture strategy and it does everything with the perfection that you would expect today. It is the perfect balance of opposites.”