1988 Aston Martin Virage: A Milestone in Luxury Car Evolution

The Aston Martin Virage made its grand debut at the Birmingham Motor Show in 1988. Designed by John Heffernan and Ken Greeley, the Virage was celebrated for its refined styling and significantly quieter, more comfortable ride compared to the older V8 models.

Engine and Performance
The Virage featured a new engine developed in collaboration with Callaway Engineering. This engine included entirely new cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder, enhancing breathing and mitigating power losses caused by catalytic converters. This innovation allowed the Virage to run on unleaded fuel globally, catering especially to the American market.

Enhancements and Variants
In March 1992, Aston Martin unveiled a 6.3-litre version of the Virage. This variant boasted a top speed of 174 mph and a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 5.4 seconds. It introduced improvements in handling and braking, and for the first time in an Aston Martin, ABS was offered. The chassis, though retaining the basic dimensions for wheelbase and track, was redesigned using computer-aided design (CAD) to be lighter yet torsionally stronger. Minimal body changes included flared wheel arches, a revised front spoiler, and an optional rear spoiler.

In 1993, the Mk II 6.3-litre Virage was introduced, reworked to deliver 465 bhp at 6000 rpm and 460 lb-ft of torque at 5800 rpm. A ZF 6-speed manual transmission was also available, with the 0-60 mph time improved to 5.2 seconds with the Mk II conversion.

The Virage Volante
The Aston Martin Virage Volante made its world premiere at the 1990 Birmingham Motor Show, adding a convertible option to the lineup.

Technical Specifications

  • Engine: DOHC V-8, 5340 cc, 330 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 3700 rpm (Volante 300 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 3700 rpm)
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual, 3-speed automatic
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Independent, transverse unequal-length wishbones, anti-roll bar, coil springs
    • Rear: de Dion axle, trailing arms, Watt linkage, coil springs
  • Brakes: Servo assisted front/rear discs/ABS
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 15’7″ (4737 mm)
    • Width: 6’1″ (1854 mm)
    • Height: 4’4″ (1321 mm)
    • Wheelbase: 8’7″ (2610 mm)
    • Weight: 1790 kg
  • Performance:
    • Top Speed: 155 mph (250 kph)
    • 0-60 mph: 6.0 sec. (Automatic)
  • Production Dates: 1988 – 1995
  • Price New: £129,950 (Coupe), £149,000 (Volante)

The Aston Martin Virage stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and luxury. Its blend of performance, design, and comfort continues to be admired by enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Source: Aston Martin
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