Will these be 007's new wheels in the 23rd James Bond film next year? Aston Martin previews the Virage ahead of the Geneva Motor Show...

Aston Martin Virage Unveiled

24th February 2011

The Aston Martin Virage combines the presence and formidable performance of a V12-engined sports car with the comfort, convenience and prestige of a true luxury car. Delivering an intoxicating blend of imperious pace and cosseting sensory indulgence, every journey is an experience to savour. Built around Aston Martin’s proven all-aluminium structure for lightness and strength and powered by a bespoke version of the company’s iconic V12 engine, the Virage offers a new twist to Aston Martin’s unique brand of performance.

Mated exclusively to a six-speed ‘Touchtronic 2’ automatic transmission complete with paddle-shifters it is effortless to drive in town and country alike, but offers the potential for true driver involvement when the mood or opportunity arises. In addition huge carbon ceramic brakes offer increased durability and fade resistance for absolute stopping power.

In order to deliver the very highest standards of ride comfort and handling the Virage features Aston Martin’s Adaptive Damping System (ADS). Using electronically controlled dampers that automatically adjust to provide the optimum settings to suit driver input, speed and road surface quality, ADS also has switchable Sport mode for maximum confidence during spirited driving. These two modes broaden the Virage’s abilities to impressive new levels. In its default setting ADS delivers a beautifully supple ride, yet show it a challenging stretch of road and a push of the ADS button into Sport mode enables the Virage to step-up its game brilliantly.

Neatly fusing the full-blooded performance and striking looks of a thoroughbred sports car with the effortless character and lavish appointments of a luxury GT, the Virage is the perfect choice for the discerning driver who demands comfort but also desires genuine dynamism.

Performance
Hand-assembled at Aston Martin’s purpose-built engine facility in Cologne, displacing 6.0-litres and delivering 490bhp and 570Nm (420lb ft) of torque the Virage’s V12 engine is one of the all-time great powerplants. Like all Aston Martins the Virage is constructed using advanced techniques and lightweight materials. The Virage also has its engine mounted as far back in the chassis as possible for a front-mid-engined configuration, which brings inherent advantages in both ride and handling

Design
Assertive but not aggressive, elegant, graceful and quiet potency characterise the design of the Virage. Its beauty and class are as obvious as its formidable performance potential, yet there is something impressively understated about the way in which it draws your gaze. Where other designs ‘shout’ at you the Virage’s clean lines and muscled physique have rare visual magnetism.

A new hand-finished stainless steel grille, with elements shaped like wing sections, new intake meshes and striking double xenon headlights give the Virage a handsome face. A pair of recessed bonnet vents provide subtle clues as to the rear-set positioning of the front-mid-mounted V12 engine and are available in a choice of two styles for added personalisation. The bolder of the two options features a stepped design, reminiscent of a shark’s gills, bringing added animation to the detailing.

In Volante form the Virage’s lines retain all the fluidity and poise of the Coupe whether its roof is up or down. Made from fabric and incorporating an additional layer of Thinsulate® material to further muffle wind noise and give additional protection from the elements, the electrically powered hood can be lowered or raised with one touch of a button, at speeds of up to 30mph. When stowed, the roof sits beneath a flush fitting tonneau cover for optimum style and unobscured rearward vision.

Control
Every aspect of the Virage has been honed to make it effortlessly capable. Sharing the same core Vertical-Horizontal (VH) architecture as every series production Aston Martin the Virage is built around a strong, lightweight aluminium structure that forms the ideal basis for a perfectly balanced high performance car.

In addition to aluminium other advanced lightweight materials such as magnesium and carbon composites have been used to keep weight to a minimum. By mounting the engine as far back as possible and mating it to a rear-mounted transaxle the Virage has near perfect weight distribution. This results in some 85 per cent of the vehicle mass being located between the front and rear axles for an unrivalled sense of agility, stability and predictability.

The fitment of Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes brings benefits beyond the obvious. More durable and with a greater resistance to fade these CCM brake discs are also 12.5kg lighter than an equivalent conventional cast-iron disc set-up. This significant saving in unsprung weight and rotational mass improves both vertical wheel control for greater ride comfort and also improves steering response and braking performance thanks to a reduction in the gyroscopic effect of a heavy brake disc spinning at high speed. Measuring 398mm in diameter at the front and 360mm at the rear these exceptional brakes also give the Virage tremendous stopping power.

Craftsmanship
When it comes to craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail an Aston Martin is like a fine piece of furniture, a Swiss watch or a bespoke tailor-made suit. Nothing is rushed. Quality, and not the clock, dictates the pace, whether it’s in the process of assembling the engine, painting and polishing the bodywork or stitching the upholstery. When it comes to building an Aston Martin, perfection is the only acceptable standard.

Perhaps the finest example of this ethos is the Virage’s leather interior. Even by Aston Martin’s standards it has had extensive time and skill lavished upon it. New combinations of colour and texture seduce and delight your senses, while an expert machinist stitches every seam for absolute accuracy and consistency. A bold new pinstripe welt on the seats and door inserts is a feature unique to the Virage. A method taken from hand-made shoe design, it’s a striking and hugely labour-intensive technique, and something that adds yet more richness and craftsmanship. Additional stitch detailing along the doors leads your gaze around the cockpit, its smooth flow wholly reliant on the talent and dexterity of our expert leatherworkers. The result is an interior of exquisite quality and genuine artistry.

Engineering
Focussing on minimising mass from the start of the design process results in a car that has natural athleticism. Acceleration and braking, steering response and fuel efficiency all benefit from such a philosophy. Freed from the dulling effects of excess weight the Virage - like all Aston Martins – has a purity and energy that marks it out as a truly engaging and exciting car to drive. It feels alive as only a car with true sporting credentials can.

Specifications

Body
Two-door coupe or soft-cover convertible top body style with 2+2 seating
Extruded bonded aluminium VH body structure
Aluminium, magnesium alloy and composite body
Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
Single bi-xenon headlamps with integrated LED side lights and direction indicators
LED rear lamps and side repeaters

Engine
All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48-valve, 5935 cc V12
Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
Compression ratio 10.97:1
Max power 365 kW (497 PS/490 bhp) at 6500 rpm
Max torque 570 Nm (420 lbft) at 5750 rpm
Acceleration 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.6 seconds
Maximum speed 186 mph (299 km/h)

Transmission
Rear mid-mounted, Touchtronic 2 six-speed automatic gearbox with electronic shift-by-wire control system
Alloy torque tube with carbon-fibre propeller shaft
Limited-slip differential
Final-drive ratio 3.46:1

Steering
Rack and pinion, power-assisted steering, 3.0 turns lock-to-lock
Column tilt and reach adjustment

Wheels and Tyres
20" 5-spoke alloy silver painted wheels
Front 8.5 x 20" Pirelli P Zero 245/35
Rear 11 x 20" Pirelli P Zero 295/35

Suspension
Front Independent double wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
Rear Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
Adaptive damping system

Brakes
Front Ventilated Carbon Ceramic discs, 398 mm diameter with six-piston calipers
Rear Ventilated Carbon Ceramic discs, 360 mm diameter with four-piston calipers
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Track mode
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
Traction Control (TC)

Standard Specification
Full-grain leather interior
Alcantara headlining
Walnut facia trim and Iridium Silver centre console finish
Memory seats and exterior mirrors (three positions)
Electrically adjustable Sports seats with side airbags
Powerfold exterior heated mirrors
Dual-stage driver / passenger front airbags
Heated seats (Sports seats only)
Heated rear screen
Automatic temperature control
Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays
Trip computer
Cruise control
Hard Disk Drive (HDD) satellite navigation system
Bluetooth telephone preparation
Glass ECU
LED map-reading lights
Front and rear parking sensors
Tyre-pressure monitoring
Alarm and immobiliser
Remote-control central door locking and boot release
Battery disconnect switch
Tracking device (UK only)
Boot-mounted umbrella

In-car entertainment
700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby® Pro Logic II®
Integrated Apple iPod® connector
USB connector with Waveform Audio Format (WAF), Windows Media Player (WMA) and MPEG (MP3) audio file compatibility
3.5 mm auxiliary input socket
Satellite radio system (USA only)

Exterior Options
20" 5-spoke alloy Graphite painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
20" 10-spoke alloy Liquid Silver painted wheels
20" 10-spoke alloy Silver painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
20" 10-spoke alloy Graphite painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
20" 10-spoke alloy Satin Black painted wheels with diamond-turned finish
Titanium' finish bonnet and side strake meshes
Bonnet louvres with 'Titanium' finish side strake meshes

Interior Options
2+0 seating (Coupe only)
Lightweight seats with six-way electrical adjustment (must be ordered in conjunction with 2+0 seating configuration, not available with heated seats feature)
Alternative facia trim finishes: Mahogany, Piano Black, Tamo Ash, Nexus Alloy, Double Apex Alloy
Matching wood door trim (not available with alloy facias or B&O BeoSound audio system options)
Personalised sill plaques
1000 W Bang &Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower technology
Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror
Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror with garage door opener (Europe only)
Alarm upgrade (volumetric and tilt sensor)
Satellite radio system (Canada only) (excludes subscription)
Tracking device (UK Category 5)
First-aid kit
Trinket tray

Dimensions
Length 4703 mm (185.2”)
Width 1904 mm (75.0”) excluding mirrors; 2061 mm (81.1”) including mirrors
Height Coupe 1282 mm (50.5”)
Height Volante 1289 mm (50.7”)
Wheelbase 2740 mm (107.9”)
Front track 1586 mm (62.4”)
Rear track 1581 mm (62.2”)
Turning circle 11.6 m (38 ft) (kerb to kerb)
Boot capacity Coupe 184l (6.5 cu ft)
Boot capacity Volante 152l (5.4 cu ft)
Fuel capacity 78 litres (17.15 UK gal/20.6 US gal)
Kerb weight Coupe 1785 kg (3935 lb)
Kerb weight Volante 1890 kg (4166 lb)

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