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Aston Martin Virage grand tourer is for bashful nutters

Ever wanted an Aston but found the DBS too crazy and the DB9 too tame? Us neither, but that hasn't stopped Aston Martin building the new Virage -- a car that occupies the middle ground.

Rory Reid

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Ever wanted an Aston Martin but found the DBS too insane and the DB9 a shade too tame? Us neither, but that hasn't stopped Aston Martin building the new Virage -- an understated sporting grand tourer designed to deliver the best of both luxurious worlds.

Aesthetically, the Virage (that's French for 'curve' or 'shift') is designed to embody the comparatively understated nature of the DB9. It looks like Batman's Sunday car next to ordinary vehicles, sure -- but relative to the DBS or One-77, its front spoiler, sideskirts and rear diffuser in particular give it a far less aggressive demeanor.

Don't be fooled by the slightly less than mental aesthetic though. The Virage packs the same deliciously loutish 6-litre V12 used in the DBS and V12 Vantage. This pumps a spine-contorting 490bhp and 570Nm of torque to the rear wheels via Aston Martin's six-speed Touchtronic automatic gearbox, so expect it to go like stink off cheese.

The company has yet to reveal performance figures, but we expect the Virage to match the performance of the DBS, so it'll dispatch 0-60mph in around 4.3 seconds and nudge 191mph. Stopping shouldn't be much of an issue either, thanks to the carbon ceramic matrix brakes, which come as standard.

Negotiating twisty bends is unlikely to present a problem. The Virage has a newly developed Active Damping System, which analyses the behaviour of the car in different road conditions, actively changing the stiffness of the suspension to suit the road and your driving style. Users can still manually select from 'normal' and 'sport' suspension modes, but the system cycles between five different stiffness settings within both those modes, fine-tuning the ride as you drive.

Aston Martin's lavished quite a bit of attention on the Virage's interior. Each car is fitted with seven tasty-smelling Bridge & Wier cow hides, along with a 6.5-insh display housing a Garmin-developed sat-nav. The car will also come with Aston Martin's own 700W Premium Audio System, though it goes without saying we'd have much preferred the option of the Bang & Olufsen audio systems seen in the DBS and Vantage.

Both the Virage coupe and the convertible Volante edition are available to buy right away. Prices are still TBC, but expect the coupe model to retail for around £150,000 with the Virage Volante costing slightly more. Have a gander through our photo gallery above to get a closer look.

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