"Roof up or down, the stylish Virage manages to be fast, smooth and very comfortable."
Slotting in between the DB9 Volante and DBS Volante the new Virage Volante is also priced accordingly. Featuring slightly more angular bodywork every panel is different apart from the cabriolet roof section - which adds a further 105kg to the overall weight. The more pronounced side sills and front LED daytime running lights ensure the Virage is distinguishable, whilst 20-inch wheels add a dose of aggression. Lighter and more powerful ceramic brakes are also fitted as standard. Under the bonnet lies Aston Martin's famous 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 490bhp- which offers 20bhp less than the DBS but 20bhp more than the DB9.
Despite the eye-watering asking price, huge running costs and the loss of the roof, the Virage remains a fabulous car to drive, retaining most of the coupe's handling and comfort. With the roof down the fabulous 490bhp V12 engine sounds even more exciting than it does in the coupe. The standard-fit adaptive suspension can be tailored to suit different driving styles or road conditions.
With the adaptive suspension adjusted to its softest setting, the Virage is very comfortable, with only the roughest of roads felt by occupants. At speed with the roof in place, road noise is almost non-existent - making the Virage Volante an excellent cross-country tourer.
The large 6.0-litre V12 engine is fully tried and tested, as it also features in DB9 and DBS, so should prove highly relaible. Service intervals are relatively short, but as most Aston Martin owners cover very few annual miles, this is unlikey to be a problem. Build quality, as you would expect at this price, is impressively high, as all cars are finished by hand.
The addition of the folding roof mechanism means the Virage Volante's boot is slightly smaller than the coupe's, measuring 152 litres. It's big enough for several soft bags but not for large, square suitcases, and a set of golf clubs should still fit easily. The rear seats are tiny and are suitable only for more luggage or very small children.
Value for money
The Virage Volante is around £10,000 more than the coupe and £25,000 less than the more powerful DBS Volante. Compared to rivals, it's cheaper than the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster, but more expensive than a Ferrari California or Bentley Continental GTC. The Virage is well equipped, with 20-inch alloy wheels, powerful carbon ceramic brakes, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors all standard. Buyers can choose from a range of optional extras that include lightweight sport seats and a 1,000W Bang & Olufsen stereo.
The Virage Volante drinks fuel at an alarming rate, and the best you're going to get from it is around 19mpg. In town, or in stop/start traffic this figure will drop even further. High Road Tax, servicing and insurance bills all go hand-in-hand when running a car as powerful and exclusive as the Virage Volante.