• Mar 1, 2011
Aston Martin Virage - Click above for high-res image gallery

Truth be told, we didn't really see the need for a new Aston Martin to slot between the DB9 and DBS, but after getting the low-down on the new 2012 Virage, we're welcoming it with open arms. Based on the same VH architecture as the other cars in the English brand's lineup, the Virage uses Aston's wonderfully vocal 6.0-liter V12 to crank out 490 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. In the Virage, those dozen cylinders are stirred exclusively through the company's six-speed Touchtronic 2 paddle-shift transmission.

While the Virage's design isn't vastly different from anything else in the automaker's portfolio, it's definitely got some pizzaz. Much like the larger Rapide, we can't help but stare at this coupe for long periods of time – it's simply gorgeous. Need proof? Click through our high-res gallery below to see the Virage from all angles, then learn more in the press release after the jump.

Live photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL
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* The highest levels of refinement and dynamic control yet, resulting from seven years of VH architecture evolution
* The new Virage offers customer greater choice of individual sports car characters yet with the same consistent Aston Martin DNA
* Virage and Virage Volante complete the Aston Martin sporting GT line-up sitting between DBS and DB9
* Set for world debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 1 March, 2011

Gaydon, 23 February 2011. Aston Martin introduces the new Virage - supremely elegant and powerful, yet juxtaposed as an understated sports car. The marque can now provide customers with a class-leading range, all with different characters, yet with the same unique Aston Martin soul and luxury.

Beautiful, dynamic and prestigious, the Virage combines outright sports car performance with luxury, comfort and refinement. The front mid-mounted V12 engine's torque delivery provides outstanding performance, coupled with the car's inherent agility and perfect weight distribution delivering the ideal balance between outright sports car performance and trademark sporting luxury exemplified by modern Aston Martins.

Aston Martin CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez said: "100 years of automotive history has demonstrated that evolution delivers the best solutions in time.

"So it is with Virage; it is the next level of evolution in our VH architecture strategy and it does everything with the perfection that you would expect today. It is the perfect balance of opposites."

The Virage sits between the enduringly elegant DB9 and overtly sporting DBS, providing customers with a car that remains luxurious and understated but delivers increased performance and crucially performance that is always accessible for effortless driving.

Aston Martin's revered hand-built 6.0 litre V12 engine produces 490 bhp (365 kW/497 PS) and 570 nM (420 lb. Ft) of torque and through its carbon fibre prop shaft, is mated to a six-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission mounted on the transaxle contributing to perfect 50:50 weight balance.

The Virage's dynamics have been tuned to deliver an engaging yet more refined driving experience, where the driver can extract the maximum performance from the car with greater ease. A newly developed Adaptive Damping System (ADS) intelligently 'reads' the road to provide optimum road holding, adapting to different conditions. The system now selects up to five different stiffness settings within normal mode, and a further five stiffer settings within sport mode.

Aiding driver control, a 'Sport' button on the facia allows the driver to select a sharper throttle response and faster gear changes while also holding the gears without automatically shifting up at the revolution limiter.

Virage will be delivered with Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes as standard - bucking the trend in this market - offering progressive and tremendous stopping power. Powerful, resistant to fade and much lighter than conventional cast-iron discs, the CCM braking system means that not only is the overall vehicle weight reduced, but the weight saving at each wheel means that a better balance between ride comfort and handling can be struck. Lower rotational mass also provides improved acceleration.

Virage capitalises on the technology from the DBS and unites it with the comfort and refinement found in the DB9 and Rapide. Aston Martin's own bonded aluminium 'VH' architecture that forms the backbone of the marque's sports cars, takes inspiration from the aerospace industry where weight reduction is the ultimate goal. Strong yet light, the inherent properties of modular aluminium lend themselves perfectly to an extremely rigid and versatile platform which allows the production of a Virage coupe and Volante.

The Virage sits low and wide asserting the power which lies beneath; single bi-xenon headlamps follow the lines of the car's flanks to give a more crisp and modern look from the front. A new aluminium metal front grille, inspired by the One-77, features five horizontal vanes which are chamfered creating an aerofoil profile. The new front bumper is pure and relieves the car of any visual complexities, contributing to the overall simplicity of design. The front wings distinguish the Virage from its stable mates housing a new modern interpretation of the Aston Martin iconic side strake housing six LEDs elegantly forming the side repeater. Virage's side sills carry the simplicity of the front bumper through to the rear diffuser which houses a body-coloured blade accentuating the width of the car.

As drivers and passengers open the signature swan wing doors, they are greeted by the aroma of seven hides of the finest Bridge of Weir leather expertly hand stitched by craftsmen. Inspiration has been taken from luxury leather goods to produce a pinstripe welt which flows down either side of the facia and along the seat and door, drawing your eye through the car. Each Virage will have 70 man hours of expert craftsmanship lavished on the interior alone to create the famous sophisticated Aston Martin interior. In all, over 200 man hours will be spent handcrafting the Virage at Aston Martin's global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England as it becomes the tenth major production car to be built there in the space of less than eight years.

Simplicity runs throughout the car with the new fully integrated Satellite Navigation system that has been developed in conjunction with Garmin. The new system simplifies operation through the existing four-way joystick mounted on the facia. A new 6.5 inch high resolution display uses the latest graphics and maps to visually and aurally guide the driver to their destination.

Standard equipment includes heated seats (Sports seats only), cruise control, satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephone preparation and the powerful 700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby® Pro Logic II® and full iPod® integration.

The Virage and Virage Volante are on sale now, available from Aston Martin's global dealership network spanning 132 dealerships in 41 countries. Pricing for the new Virage will be confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show where it will be joined by two further new cars; the V8 Vantage S and the new Tailor-Fit Cygnet city car, all of which will be brought to production in the UK by Aston Martin in 2011.

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

What's in a name?

viragem. (French Noun)

1. bend, turn, curve
2. change, shift (in orientation)

Aston Martin's use of nomenclature beginning with a 'V' dates back to the optional 'Vantage' engine on the 1950s DB2. So when the DP2034 (an internal design project number) had to be found a name in 1985, the hunt began for an evocative word to carry on this tradition. The call went out to the factory's craftsmen, its customers and to the Aston Martin Owners Club, ending in the collation of hundreds of suggestions. Eventually the then Chairman, Victor Gauntlett, and his Directors chose Virage to be the moniker of an all new car destined to open a new chapter in the company's history.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Ark Rahman Khan
      • 3 Years Ago
      the world of prestigious car is one of the most luxorious car is aston martin to aston family.
      • 3 Years Ago
      it sucks why they can make something new. go and hire anew designer a kid from any university i dont just evolve
        • 3 Years Ago
        You must not like 911's, Camaros, Corvettes, Mustangs, or F150's either...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks a lot like a streamlined Datsun 280Z car. Are we cloning old "J" cars now???
        • 3 Years Ago
        Really?.... The z was always considered a rip off of English roadsters..
      • 3 Years Ago
      instead of releasing yet another v12 powered model, which I feel is redundant, Aston should have looked into reworking their v8 vantage, which in several people's opinions feels rediculously underpowered compared to the rest of their range of cars. I personally think they should enlarge the engine in the Vantage up to around 5-5.5 litres and bring the horsepower up closer to the 375-390 range. The other option would be better towards not infringing on their own v12 model sales which would be to lighten the v8 vantage, however this could prove costly as clearly aluminum and carbon fiber would be needed to achieve this, to replace parts that are currently steel and aluminum on the car. If they are still attached to Jaguar in any way I dont see either thing happening as it will infringe on xkr sales. I really believe that is what the original plan of hierarchy for astons was, the v8 vantage, the Jag xkr then the v12 vantage and then up to the db9 and dbs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can already hear people complaining about the gearbox. People need to get over it. Automated manuals are faster and more convenient.

      As for the design, honestly the only difference I see from the DBS/9 are the headlights and bumpers, and I'm in Industrial Design. The differences are negligible. I really don't understand the point of this car, at all. The DBS looks better, on top of it all. If you're looking for a grand tourer, buy a DB9. If you're looking for a semi-supercar, buy a DBS. Who's going to buy this? Someone who wants more power, but not a lot more? Maybe they should offer a separate nameplate for every 50hp increase in horsepower...
        • 3 Years Ago
        My bad, apparently there's no powertrain difference from the DB9, which makes this model even more pointless...
      • 3 Years Ago
      The proves to me cars are art.

      One of the best looking cars on the road today
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder how different the the Jag and the DB is seeing that the shell (body) looks almost identical.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fordrecall.14 People who type in All-Caps opinions' dont matter....
        • 3 Years Ago

        Are you a 4 year old?
        • 3 Years Ago

      • 3 Years Ago
      Front end is very similar to the Jag with its smaller grille and lower facia. Not really a bad thing, but I would expect a little more from an Aston Martin. However, those headlights would look sinister on a DBS...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Those Rapide headlights need to find their way to the DB9 and DBS fast. Suddenly, the old ones look terribly outdated.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree with other posters... Aston needs to do some more tweaking (externally) to differentiate the models. I have the darndest time determining which is which most of the time. Theyre all beautiful, dont get me wrong!
      • 3 Years Ago
      The most appealing thing about this model over the other ones is that is has an actual name, not those stupid initial/number combinations.

      Nothing is better than having a true name for your sports car.
      I loved the Vanquish name.

      As someone on another thread said, maybe they are going to get rid of the DB9 and replace it with this and hopefully they will change the DBS to a Vanquish again, that would be cool.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love the look of Astons, but it frustrates me that the differences in models are so subtle. I can't tell the difference between this and a Vantage.
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