Tuesday, June 27 2017

LifeStyle

Curves of Power

Aston Martin Virage
 
Timelessly magnifi cent, the Aston Martin Virage is all about discreet yet statement style and comfort. Riddhima Nagpal explores this luxurious coupe from the marquee of the leading British luxury sports car maker.
 
It is assertive but not aggressive. Its elegance defi nes its design philosophy – this is Aston Martin Virage, fusing performance with the slickness and character of a sports car, and of course the prestige of a luxury GT. Resonating with the brand’s legacy of power and perfection, this coupe stands tall and proud. Distinguished by the front grille, which is attractive and muscular, it makes the most out of its wide wheels. Though its strong, angular sill section is in complete contrast with the curvaceous rear haunches along with its attractive rear panel, this one is a looker with its visual magnetism. Talking about details, its distinctive front wings with six LEDs, double xenon headlights, and a rear diffuser, which houses a body-coloured blade, completely accentuate the width of the car.
 
Taking its name from the 1988 John Heffernan and Ken Greenley design, Virage is a combination of DBS bits with a revamped take on the revered DB9 body shell. One might expect it to be a cross between the DB9 and the DBS; however it is a ‘tweener’ V12 model that slots above the DB9 and below the DBS.
 
Sharing the same core Vertical - Horizontal (VH) architecture as every other series by Aston Martin, the Virage is built around a strong, lightweight aluminium structure that forms the ideal basis for a perfectly balanced high-performance car.
 
Under the hood, Aston Martin has placed a hand-built 6.0-litre V12 engine (Ford-based, under the cover of a Reynarddesign which fi rst saw service in the 1999 DB7 Vantage) which delivers the power of 490 horses and 420 lb-ft torque. Mated exclusively to a six-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission complete with paddle-shifters that make driving effortless and being mounted on the transaxle, it contributes to a perfect 50:50 weight balance, thus giving dynamism a new meaning. Even the engine’s location has been pushed as far back as possible, which again serves as a visual reminder about the Virage’s precise equal weight distribution. Like a big old school bruiser, this sleek menacing coupe can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Though its curb weight is 3,935 pounds, this beauty feels lighter on its feet and is extraordinarily fast and agile.
 
Its controlling power on the road comes from a new Adaptive Damping System (ADS) that does a fair job in providing a comfortable and easy ride. It controls the Virage’s road-gripping capabilities with fi ve different stiffness settings within normal mode, and a further fi ve stiffer settings within sport mode. In addition, huge carbon ceramic brakes (16.6-inch, six-piston units in front, 14-inch discs and four pistons back) offer increased durability and fade resistance for absolute stopping power, thus aiding the Virage in its performance under thick and thin.
 
When it comes to the details of beauty of this statement car, everything is carved to perfection – just like a tailor-made suit. From assembling the engine to giving the perfect fi nish and polish, to craftsmanship of the upholstery, it is all about understated chic and sophistication but not delicateness. From the glass switches and leatherwrapped steering wheel to the fi ne-stitch detail, everything around is leather, aluminium, glass or alacantra. Perhaps the fi nest example of this ethos is the Virage’s leather interior – well, it has leather seats that actually smell like leather. Aston Martin is also offering new combinations of colour and texture to delight the user’s senses. For a more customised appeal, a combination of seven of the fi nest Bridge of Weir leather is on offer to be used on either side of the fascia and along the seat and signature swan-wing doors. A bold new pinstripe welt on the seats and door inserts is a feature unique to the Virage. Additional stitch detailing along the doors leads one’s gaze around the cockpit speaking out loud about the dexterity. Standard equipment on the Virage are a fully integrated Satellite Navigation system that has been developed in conjunction with Garmin, heated seats (sports seats only), cruise control, Bluetooth telephone preparation, and the 700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby Pro Logic II and full iPod integration to savour each journey.
 
With this UK luxury giant’s entry back to India in April, the brand has placed itself next to Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini in terms of the growing automobile market. And with its recent entry in the capital city in partnership with Select Cars, the brand is further widening its presence across key markets and supporting its customers with value-added services. All in all, this coupe priced at approximately GBP 150,000, demands and expects to be driven, if not raced – but then defi nitely, to win hearts.
 
 
 
 
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