8 months with a Renault Clio

Top Car's Wayne Batty says goodbye to his Renault Clio. It’s not a soppy farewell but the little 'automatique' did its maker proud.

Kia's trendy family pick

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post experiences the upcoming Cerato.

Aston revives Virage for Geneva

2011-02-23 11:11

CLASSIC REVIVED: Aston Martin will release an all new version of its Virage sportscar at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

Introduced in 1988, Aston Martin’s venerable Virage was a replacement for the decades-old V8 models. The popular sports car remained the most exclusive (read: expensive) hand-built king of Aston Martin models, though it was replaced by the Vanquish in 2000.

More than a decade later, the British brand will reprise the Virage with an all-new model at 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The new Virage and Volante will be positioned between the DB9 and the sportier DBS.

Designwise, the new model has shed its dated, boxy looks for a low-slung design. A new metal grille inspired by the One-77 can be seen as well as a new front bumper design. To distinguish the Virage from its supercar siblings are the front wings with their new interpretation of the British carmaker’s iconic side design housing six LEDs.

The Virage will be powered by Aston’s hand-built six-litre V12 capable of 365kW and 570Nm through its carbon-fibre prop shaft and a six-speed auto/manual sequential transmission.

The car’s dynamics have been tuned to deliver an engaging experience with aid of the newly developed adaptive shock-absorbers which scan the road ahead to provide optimum road-holding, adapting to conditions with five settings within normal mode and five more in 'sport' which 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.

TIME MATTERS: Each new Virage takes 200 man-hours to assemble, right down to the hand-stitched leather in the cabin.

The Virage will have carbon-ceramic brakes and technology from its DBS, DB9 and Rapide siblings and each unit will take about 200 man-hours to assemble - 70 of them purely on the cabin, at Aston Martin’s global HQ in Gaydon, England. It will be the tenth major production car to be built at the plant in less than eight years.

Inside, the car has hand-stitched leather and a new satnav system on a 15.5cm, high-resolution display. Standard equipment includes heatable seats (sports seats only), cruise control, Bluetooth and the brand's 700W premium audio system.

The Virage and Virage Volante are already in European showrooms. Pricing for the new Virage will be confirmed at the Geneva auto show, where it will be on display with V8 Vantage S and the new Tailor-Fit Cygnet city car.

Inside Wheels24

Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in SA

Want to experience what it's like to be behind the wheel of a 419kW sports car? Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in our interactive Snapchat video filmed in SA.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.