Aston Martin Virage – AskMen

13 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Aston Martin Virage – AskMen

Aston Martin Virage

Aston Martin Virage

Price: From £149,995

0-60 time: 4.6 secs

MPG / LPG: 18.8 mpg

Aiming any product straight down the middle of two currently existing ones will never be a particularly inspiring mission, that is, unless you’re taking about Aston Martins.

Splitting the difference between the gentlemanly DB9 and the feverishly horny DBS is the Virage. However, not actually replacing any product in the iconic British marque’s current line-up of dream machines, the resurrection of the Virage name was an unexpected twist when it was announced — especially given the fact that the ’80s Virage, Aston’s then top dog, was a relatively unloved beast to say the least.

So just what is Aston’s latest Virage? A DBS-light? Or is it what some always wished the DB9 was in the first place?

We spent a few days with this answer to a question that was never really asked to see if Aston Martin’s middle-of-the-road ride actually is what we had never realized we’d been waiting for.

With surgical precision, the Virage calves its two stablemates’ power outputs right down the middle. With a lusty 490 bhp on tap, it’s 20 bhp more than the DB9 and 20 bhp less than the DBS. So, either de-tuned or up-rated depending if your proverbial glass.

Either way, it’s explosively awesome and as addictive to use as that smartphone you’ve got in your hand right now.

The Virage’s 6.0-liter, hand-built V12 voice angrily barks to life by posting the bejeweled smartkey into the center of the dash — a ritual that’s simply impossible to tire of. But even with 85% of its 570 Nm peak torque available pre-2,000 rpm, it’s in the reaches of its higher rev range (on the way to maxing out at 186 mph) where the 12-cylindered symphony really turns you on.

Aston Martin Virage

Feeling sharper and more enthusiastic than the DB9 in both handling and ride, it’s closer to the illicit pleasure you get from the £180k DBS coupe but with a shade more welcome comfort for longer stretches of seat-time.

The six-speed Touchtronic 2 transmission feels comparatively placatory in regular laid-back auto-mode, but it’s best utilized through the sharp-shifting paddles with a dash of anger whilst also exploiting the remapped ratios the Sport button affords. If you’ve never tasted the DBS, you’ll never assume things could get anymore potent while retaining Aston’s unashamed composure of true luxury motoring.

Perhaps the only (admittedly mild) letdown the Virage delivers is the seen-it-before styling. With headlamps lifted from the Rapide, bonnet/grille from the DB9 and a rear-end seemingly stolen from a Vantage. you’d be forgiven for not believing that, other than the coupe’s roof, every panel has in fact been reworked. But the result of not screwing with Aston’s grasp of proportional perfectionism is an undeniably beautiful machine.

An achingly flash supercar pin-up with a sharper nose, understated crease-lines and deeper sills and aprons, the Virage certainly freshens up Aston’s, let’s say, well-seasoned existing lineup.

The interior is classic contemporary Aston Martin and features seven hides of the finest Bridge of Weir leather stitched together by hand, naturally. Switching gears, aside from the glass gear selector buttons, is still the unfortunate and confusingly scattered affair we’ve come to expect. But the bespoke new sat-nav system is a particularly welcome addition and one you’ll actually find yourself using and not swearing at.

Configurable as a 2+2 or a lighter two-seater with a splash of extra storage and upgraded sports buckets, there’s reasonable room for maneuvering here. Also, a refreshing standard feature on the Virage is a set of huge vented ceramic discs that, once warmed up, can halt the rampaging Virage just as epically as it took off.

We definitely rate the new Virage as the most rounded and smartest Aston on the block right now. But understatement is its calling card, especially in the face of rivals including the strutting, gull-winged Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and the massively muscular Bentley Continental GT. We can’t help but wonder when Aston Martin will show us a revolution rather than another respectful evolution — drool-worthy though it is.

Aston Martin Virage
Aston Martin Virage
Aston Martin Virage
Aston Martin Virage

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