Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aston Martin unveils new Virage

Aston set to launch 'warmer' DB9 dubbed the Virage, powered by the familiar 6.0-litre V12, it will sit below the DBS in the range.

Aston Martin Virage

Call it a spicier DB9, or a medium strength DBS... Aston Martin has exploited the middle ground between its two V12-powered coupés and resurrected a famous name of old to create a brand new model.

The new Virage offers the best compromise between the refined cruising ability of the DB9 and sporty prowess of the DBS, according to the firm – and updates features from both. Power is from Aston’s hand-built 6.0-litre V12. It delivers exactly 20bhp more than a DB9 and 20bhp less than a DBS, at 490bhp, and drives the rear wheels through a six-speed auto box.

The engine also features a new exhaust manifold for an even more intoxicating sound, and develops its 570Nm of torque low down in the rev range for maximum driveability. Beneath the skin is the aluminium VH architecture that underpins all modern Astons, while the Virage gets newly developed adaptive dampers. These offer five different stiffness settings in normal mode, and five more when owners press the Sport button on the dashboard.

This also sharpens throttle response, holds on to gears for longer and speeds up shifts. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, too. Striking xenon lights help to distinguish the Virage from other Astons, while there’s a five-bar aluminium grille – inspired by the One-77 hypercar – and a cleaner front bumper, with a single lower grille in place of the DB9’s three-part element.

Also fitted are fresh sills, 20-inch alloys and side vents with a chrome highlight that extends on to the doors. A new rear diffuser completes the look. Inside, the Virage gets upgraded leather seats, and Aston has finally responded to criticism of its ageing Volvo-sourced sat-nav and replaced it with the latest integrated Garmin.

Heated seats, a 700W stereo and Bluetooth hands-free also feature. The Coupé comes as a 2+2, or with a storage shelf instead of rear seats to save weight. A Volante drop-top is also available. Prices will be confirmed at next week’s Geneva Motor Show, but are expected to split the DB9 and DBS, starting at £150,000
Aston Martin Virage rear

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