Back to 2012, Aston Martin decided to launch a refined sports car to put it right between the two big boys of its lineup. Why did they decide to take that road? Reasons aren’t quite clear. What we do know for sure is that Aston’s chiefs decided to draw back their intentions. Maybe too late.
The 2012 Virage was well received by everyone, and its popularity lasts at the end of its short life. The specialized media like it, even more than several, more powerful competitors in the same segment. The sales were good too. This model was the option between the “basic” DB9 and the beastly DBS, which died the same year as the Virage. A tough 2012 for Aston Martin, we dare to say.
There wasn’t anything special with the 2012 Virage. It was a refined, more expensive version of the DB9 which wasn’t capable of competing with the DBS. Of course, all those things were on purpose. Aston Martin wanted to place a third option in an already crowded market.
Let’s see more details about the 2012 Virage.
Powertrain and Specs
The now-defunct 2012 Virage packed a DOHC 48-valve 5.9 L V12, which produced up to 490 hp at 6500 RPM and a maximum torque of 420 lb-ft at 5750. Along with this colossal powerplant, this model featured a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting, commonly known as the ZF Touchtronic II. As you can read online, this isn’t the most popular or loved gearbox out there. It has its problems.
The automatic transmission was hardly criticized by the specialized media. Even on the Sport driving mode, the shifting was unsatisfying, making a notable gap (for worse) between other sports cars in the same segment.
This setup allowed the 2012 Virage to go from standstill to 60 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 186 mph (299 km/h). Despite the lightweight skeleton, this supercar had a curb weight of 4150 lb (1882 kg). In terms of chassis, the aluminum structure was both agile and lightweight, being a key factor in its great handling. Highly responsive steering worked wonderfully along the amazing handling and agility.
The rest of the specs were predictable at the time. The Virage was widely based on the cheaper DB9, so buyers expected a slight upgrade from the latter. Then, stopping power was provided by massive carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston ones in the rear. In the braking matter, the history is quite different. This is the exact same configuration on the more powerful DBS.
Exterior Design and Comfort in the Cabin
When we see the 2012 Virage, we found a slightly refined front fascia, with a retouched grille (which followed the Aston pattern, as expected), bumper, headlights, and diffuser. Also, it was curvier than the rest of the Aston Martin’s lineup back then, also offering a fancy grade of hand-crafted features, mostly in the interior. 20-inch aluminum rims were wrapped with Pirelli P Zero tires, 245/35s in the front and 295/30s in the rear.
The interior, on the other hand, featured top-notch leather, carbon, fiber, and aluminum, all mixed up to deliver an opulent and luxurious finish. And here is where, according to the British car maker, the 2012 Virage made the difference among its siblings. It supposedly delivered a more luxurious and comfortable feeling.
The Bottom Line
After a two-year run, the Virage was discontinued. Reasons are unclear. During those two long years, Aston Martin produced over 1000 units, which is quite something. In terms of supercars, isn’t bad. Following this logic, things get blurry and confusing.
The 2012 Virage had a price tag around US$211.610 and it really represented the middle ground between the cheaper DB9 and the brutal DBS.