Virage coupe
Virage coupe

Virage coupe

(1989 - 1994)

Following the successful motor show launch of the Virage (the French word for corner), orders flooded into AML. This was after all, the first truly new AM for 20 years and the wealthy were spending money on the back of the 1980's economic boom. Based on a modified Lagonda chassis, the Virage received an updated, catalysed, fuel injected 4 valve per cylinder version of the classic V8, developed in association with Callaway Engineering of Connecticut, USA.

 

Virage coupe

Still displacing 5340cc, the engine was certified for all markets so even the US car produced 330 bhp @ 5300rpm and torque of 350lb/ft @ 4000rpm ,a significant improvement against the 200bhp that seen in strangulated US V8’s throughout most of the 1980’s. Before production of the Virage ended, AML revised published power and torque down to 310bhp and 340 lb/ft which I suspect was due tighter emission controls being introduced.

As with many Aston Martins throughout history, certain parts are borrowed from other cars. For instance, the rear light clusters are from the VW Scirocco; headlamps courtesy of the Audi 100. Whilst some might say that this a bad thing, but without these small but expensive to manufacture parts, there would be no Astons today. What must be remembered is that the body panels have been hand made especially for the individual car and the engine has been assembled by just one man who will have spent a whole working week on it alone.

The Virage name was briefly revived in 2011 with the DB9 derived, V12 powered Virage, a GT that sat between the DB9 and the DBS.