1993 Aston Martin Virage Volante Convertible
Result: PASSED IN
|Interior||Magnolia with green piping|
Launched at the 1988 International Motor Show held at the NEC in Birmingham, Aston Martin’s long-awaited replacement for the V8 series was christened the Virage, the name – meaning ‘corner’ in French - chosen by Aston Martin’s Executive Chairman Victor Gauntlett from a larger number of proposals. Designated Development Project 2034, Newport Pagnell’s latest model stuck with a traditional front engine/rear drive layout, the mechanical specification closely following the V8s. Tadek Marek’s classic motor was suitably modernised by American specialists Callaway Engineering to four-valves per cylinder specification to compensate for power lost in the switch to unleaded fuel and catalytic converters while the Virage’s handsome bodywork was the product of British designers John Heffernan and Ken Greenley, combining classic Aston Martin styling cues with modern aerodynamics. Using an updated version of the V8’s underpinings, the Virage was hand-built at Newport Pagnell in the traditional manner, while the interior was a pleasing blend of old world British craftsmanship and state-of-the-art luxury features. The Virage’s brakes, now outboard at the rear, were lightened with alloy calipers and stronger thanks to massive ventilated discs up front. Another improvement was the updated four-speed automatic transmission introduced in 1993, with Sport and Comfort settings giving greater driver control. Aston Martin added an open-topped derivative to the line-up in October 1992, previewing the new Virage at the Geneva Motor Show the previous year. With a sophisticated soft-top that automatically raised and lowered, the rear quarter glass windows were also powered-operated and the Virage benefited from improved suspension and ABS brakes as standard. With only 233 Virage Volantes produced between 1992 and 1996, the model remains one of the rarest Aston Martins ever made and values have been fast appreciating in recent years.