Positioned between its current DB9 and DBS models, the new 2011 Aston Martin Virage and its Virage Volante convertible runningmate fill out the automaker's GT family in a most impressive manner. Based on the latest iteration of Aston's well-proven bonded-aluminum "VH" modular platform architecture, the firm's CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez, calls the new Virage "the perfect balance of opposites" for its unique ability to combine DBS-style sportiness and DB9 luxury.
To set it apart from its siblings, the Virage gets several understated exterior changes, although all body panels remain aluminum like the DB9 and not the carbon-fiber alternatives found on the DBS. Up front, a five-blade grille insert inspired by the limited-production One-77 complements a redrawn fascia and new single-round headlamps while the Virage's profile is set off by bolder side strakes with six LED marker lamps and bespoke side sills. Sole change to the rear is a body-color element in the lower diffuser. Inside, the cabin is covered in premium Bridge of Wash leather and boasts loads of comfort/convenience touches highlighted by a 700-watt Aston Martin Premium Audio System and an all-new and far easier-to-use Satellite Navigation package co-developed with Garmin that features a 6.5-inch full-color display.
The Virage's handbuilt 6.0-liter V12 makes 490 horsepower -- 20 more than a DB9 and 20 under the DBS engine -- and develops the same 420 lb-ft of torque as the DB9. It's paired with Aston's Touchtronic II six-speed automatic transmission, but this fitment includes a Sport button that quickens gear changes and can hold a cog even at redline in addition to sharpening the overall throttle response. Underpinning the Aston Martin Virage is the latest variation of the Adaptive Damping System, now boasting five different settings for both the Normal and Sport modes. The car also comes with massive carbon ceramic disc brakes, 20-inch alloy wheels and the same Pirelli P Zero ultra-performance tires found on the DBS.
The 2011 Aston Martin Virage and Virage Volante arrive in the U.S. this May, with pricing to be announced closer to the on-sale date.