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Follow up to the Preliminary Thoughts on the AM Virage Volante

July 25 2011 at 6:06 PM
ED-209  (Login EDW209)
AP Discussion Group

 
Interesting coincidence that on the same afternoon I was driving the new 2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante that I came upon TM's post about the same car!
Please click here for TM's Preliminary Thoughts


His thoughts are spot on; in regular mode the AM Virage Volante was quiet, refined, and sedate. Just what I expected in the AM. But WOW in sport mode it's a completely different car. Lot's of torque across the rpm range with a loud and throaty exhaust note that is just music to my ears. The Virage really comes alive.
[linked image]


Beautiful lines from front to back and a low front fairing:
[linked image]

[linked image]


I love the headlights and the extremely bright (almost blinding) yellow daytime running lights:
[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]


I have to admit there are a few little quirks with this car. I know that it needs space for the retractable hardtop (which is very nice done and operates very quickly without manual latches), but the trunk is tiny and gets really hot:
[linked image]


And one surprise in the driver's cockpit, the key system is spring loaded and if not held securely it can eject the heavy key fob right into the cup holder tray. It could do some damage to fragile items,.....like the glass on a cell phone sad.gif
Plus it felt strange shifting out of Park and Drive using the big P and D buttons that are mounted on the center console:
[linked image]


But overall the Aston Martin Virage Volante is an exhilarating drive. IMO it works great as a daily driver and has that wonderful sport mode.

Regards,
ED-209



 
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Dino944
(Login Dino944)
AP Discussion Group

Definitely the prettiest Aston Martin since the Vanquish...

July 26 2011, 10:03 AM 

The front 3/4 view of the car is stunning! In a world filled with cars that all look the same, or have sacrificed beauty in the name of aerodynamics, or which are often over styled in an effort to look exotic, this is a really beautiful car. It just may be the best looking production car on the road, IMHO.

I do wish they had kept the side fender vents looking more like they did on previous Astons, rather than elongating the chome strip and eliminating the top vent opening. But thats quite minor.

Thanks for sharing your driving impressions of the Virage Volante. I'm sure in sport mode with the loud pedal to the floor its practically a religious experience. If its your new car congrats! I love it, I hope to see more photos soon. If you were simply lucky enough to enjoy its use for a day, I'm sure it your memories of that day will last a lifetime...or at least until you drive an Aston.

Best regards,
Dino


 
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ThomasM
(Premier Login thepurist178)
AP Discussion Group

Interesting comments, Dino -

July 27 2011, 2:50 PM 

As Ed mentioned, I also had some extended time in the driver's seat of the Virage Volante, and also had a chance to talk to a few people about the car. Interesting that you mentioned the Vanquish (which iteration?) - one of the people I spoke to about the Virage commented he liked it far more than the Vanquish, the Vanquish pushing the flared fenders bulging curves design school too much, straying from the classical elegance of Aston Martin designs.

I lean in agreement to many of your points of view about the Virage design itself. It just seems to work, though if I had to find a weakness, it is in the rather generic (too reminiscent of current Jaguars, which is not such a bad thing, but ironically indicates a corporate bloodline sharing that is no longer there, and probabaly was already split when the Virage was on the drawing board) rear end...

Cheers,

TM

"The secret to success in life
is to keep believing in the possible,
but to focus your energies on the probable."

 
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Dino
(Login Dino944)
AP Discussion Group

Hi Thomas...

July 28 2011, 10:17 AM 

IMHO, the Vanquish was the first good looking Aston Martin in a long time. The Virage of the 1990s looked heavy and uninspiring, and then the DB7s looked essentially like rebadged Jags. So to me, the Vanquish was a step in the right direction. Maybe it was a bit curvacious, but look at some of the swoopy lines of racing DB3S and I see some DNA. Maybe I like the Vanquish's lines as I'm not a traditional AM person. Being more a Ferrari or Porsche person I like curves in a car. I also thought the Vanquish was a far more attractive car than its Italian competition of the day the Ferrari 550/575, so it made quite an impression on me.

The new Virage is very attractive. I do wish the side vent hadn't been changed, was a signature design element in their cars. I find the longer chrome strip maybe a bit too brash. Also, the front spoiler is a little too aggressive IMHO, but overall its a beautiful car. I like it a lot more than the looks of the current XK Jags, which have become a bit generic looking IMHO.

Hope all is well.
Best regards,
Dino


 
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ED-209
(Login EDW209)
AP Discussion Group

Comments on the AM

July 30 2011, 12:45 PM 

Hi Dino,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the AM.

Regards,
ED-209

 
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JerryW
(Login 9000000153)
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I really like this AM.

July 27 2011, 5:33 PM 

The only thing I do not like that so many manufacturers use is the GIANT key, it is a pain in the pocket. In my search for a new ride I want a smaller key. How does the Virage shift compared to the Vantage?

JerryW

 
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ED-209
(Login EDW209)
AP Discussion Group

The giant key

July 30 2011, 12:42 PM 

Agree with you about the key. It does have a nice feel to it, but it's slightly bulky and heavy. The smooth surface looks nice but doesn't help. It was too easy to drop and slip out of my hands. Plus the issue with the spring loaded slot causes it to eject out and fall into the cup holder area (I'll try to post a video of this).
As for the shifting, I was very impressed. Upshifts and downshifts were very smooth and quick. My reference is to the e-gear in the Lambo Gallardo I drove a while back. The Lambo shifted quickly but a little jerky, but the AM was totally smooth and what I expected in a touring type sports car.

Regards,
ED-209

 
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BLDJ
(no login)

Touchtronic...

August 9 2011, 12:35 AM 

..is still a slushbox transmission.
Which, I guess, on this car is appropriate as it provides the shift smoothness (as you noted) but doesn't win Aston any technical points. Not that this car is chasing them.

Disclaimer: I just have in in-built dislike for torque-converters...except - maybe - on Chapperals....happy.gif

 
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DRMW
(Login DRMW)
AP Discussion Group

re: AM Virage

July 28 2011, 1:13 AM 

Convertibles are so hard to do right design-wise, IMO they got it right, it's a beautiful car. Any videos? wink.gif

-MW

 
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ED-209
(Login EDW209)
AP Discussion Group

No videos of driving

July 30 2011, 12:43 PM 

Luckily I had a lot of time behind the wheel so no videos from me except that damn ignition key.

Regards,
ED-209

 
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Patrick_y
(no login)

Thank you for the comments!

August 28 2011, 8:45 AM 


Thank you for the comments about your Aston Martin experience!

Did you find the gauges annoying when the speedo spins counter clockwise?

 
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ED-209
(Login EDW209)
AP Discussion Group

The most annoying thing was...

September 6 2011, 7:12 PM 

Hi Patrick,

I didn't have any issues with the speedo, but the most annoying thing about driving the AM was other drivers; such as dumpy modified pickup trucks trying to race you at night in the streets of L.A. happy.gif

Regards,
ED-209

 
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