The 2012 Aston Virage is easy on the eyes.
Don’t hate the Virage because it’s beautiful. Or because it’s seductive. Or because it’s sumptuous.
It is all those things naturally; that’s been a part of Aston Martin’s DNA since the venerable British firm was founded in 1913. The beauty of the Virage is everywhere, from the leather-lined cabin to the exquisite electronic key fob, topped in crystal.
But the 2012 Virage is more than just a pretty face. Proof can be found once you ignite its lusty 6.0-liter V12 engine, which it shares, along with its six-speed automatic transmission, with the less expensive DB9 and more expensive DBS. At 490 horsepower, this coupe has 20 more ponies under its bonnet than the DB9 but 20 fewer than the DBS.
Like any immortal sporting car, there’s an ample amount of effortless power routed to the rear wheels. Those 12 cylinders burble fiercely, drowning out gawking commoners on its way to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds. The Aston isn’t as fast as some of its German competition, but there’s more than enough power on tap. If it’s not enough, hit the Sport button to extract the most juice from this driveline. Also, the Virage’s six-speed automatic can be manually shifted through paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
Despite its slower pace, the Aston is every bit as athletic as its Teutonic rivals, thanks to an adjustable suspension and firm structure. Steering is ideally weighted and returns great road feel. Making its back end dance is an absolute joy. Still, some might find the ride a bit harsh considering the car’s mission as a grand touring car. But if you’re more of a sports car aficionado, nothing will seem amiss.
Enhancing the drive is the car’s cabin, which takes 70 hours to assemble. It’s a delight to the senses. From the sublime softness and delicate aroma of the Bridge of Weir leather to the elegant simplicity of the instrument panel, the interior is first rate – with one exception. The audio display is lifted straight from a Volvo, a legacy of the company’s former owner, Ford Motor Company.
Still, the front seats provide good support, though the rear seats are best considered a leather-lined shelf for your purse or briefcase. Cargo volume is good for a quick weekend getaway; just be sure to ship any purchases that require a lot of space.
The Aston Martin Virage is very much the looker, with a sinfully drawn exterior, a voluptuous interior and ample muscle. It’s a luxurious sports car. It’s not the fastest, but it’s possibly the most beautiful, and beauty has its price.
Engine: 6.0-liter DOHC V12
Top speed: 183 mph
Wheelbase: 107.9 inches
Length: 185.8 inches
Weight: 3,935 pounds
Cargo volume: 6.5 cubic feet
EPA rating (city/highway): 13/18 mpg
Fuel consumption: 14 mpg
Fuel type: Premium
Base price: $207,895
As tested: $232,905
Available at: Aston Martin of Washington, D.C., 8550 Leesburg Pike, Vienna