Aston Martin Virage coupe (2011-2012)
"The Virage slots between the DB9 and DBS in the line-up, as well as in terms of its performance."
- Adaptive dampers offer handling choice
- Luxurious interior
- Sharp looks
- High running costs
- Doesn't look that different from DB9
- Suspension can be unsettled by rough surfaces
It's not an all-new car, but the Aston Martin Virage is still an important addition to the firm's line-up. The looks are similar to the DB9's, but apart from the roof and windscreen, every body panel is brand new. The result is a sharper, more masculine look than the DB9, while LED daytime running lights further distinguish the newcomer. Under the skin, the Virage uses the same hand-built 6.0-litre V12 as its stablemates, but it has 490bhp, which is 20bhp more than the DB9 and 20bhp less than the DBS. A six-speed automatic is the sole gearbox choice, which is operated via steering wheel-mounted paddles. As you would expect, straight line performance is immense, while in corners the standard-fit adaptive dampers mean the Virage can deliver a focused performance. However, a button on the dashboard allows you to soften off the suspension for relaxed cruising.
MPG, running costs & CO2
That 6.0-litre V12 means running costs will be steep, both in terms of what you'll pay to fill up with petrol and what you'll pay in tax. Servicing costs will be high, too, although if you're in the market for an Aston Martin, you can probably afford the running costs, too.
Engines, drive & performance
The Virage is a big, heavy sports car, but that big V12 engine means straight-line performance is stunning. Surprisingly, it likes to be revved to get the most from it, but the six-speed auto gearbox has slick shifts and is easy to use. The adaptive dampers mean the Virage can be transformed from a relaxed grand tourer into a focused sports car at the push of a button.
Interior & comfort
The Virage has a hand-made interior that uses the finest materials, so it's hugely comfortable for two. Long-distance comfort is excellent, although the adaptive dampers sometimes have trouble dealing with successive bumps in the road.
Practicality & boot space
There's a 184-litre boot, which is big enough for a couple of golf bags, but the boot opening is narrow. There's a pair of seats in the back, but they're tiny and only really suitable as an extra storage space - Aston Martin even offers the option of deleting the rear seats completely.
Reliability & safety
As the Virage uses the same 6.0-litre V12 as the DB9 and DBS, it should prove to be a reliable unit. Service intervals of 10,000 miles are relatively short, and you can expect steep costs when you visit your dealer.
Price, value for money & options
The Aston Martin Virage slots between the DB9 and DBS in the range, so it's priced accordingly. At £150,000, it's £20,000 more than the DB9, but it's worth the extra outlay for the added performance and handling that's on offer.