By Cars.com EditorsSeptember 26, 2011
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante. It competes with the Ferrari FF and Audi R8.
(upbeat music) <v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. Hi, I'm Joe Wisenfelder with cars.com. And this is an Aston Martin Virage. It's a new model slated between the DB 9 and the top of the line DBS.
It's intended to combine the livability of one, with the performance of the other. And with a starting price, after gas guzzler tax and destination, it's $211,000, add $15,000 for the Volante version, which is what we have here. Then you hit $227,000. The Virage uses Aston's six liter V12 engine. In this case, it produces 490 horsepower, which is between the DB 9 and the DBS, and also 420 pound feet of torque. Now 85% of that torque is available from 1500 RPM, that makes this thing very quick off the line. But when you think about it, zero to 60 is about 4.5 seconds in the coupe and a little longer in the heavier convertible here. At this price range, that's actually not so quick. Here are some highlights and standard features. The grill is aluminum, real aluminum, auto makers of the world, is it that difficult to use that instead of the crappy plastic stuff? Also standard 20 inch wheels. These happen to be the optional 10 spoke versions. The carbon ceramic brakes, you want to talk to value, relative value? Carbon ceramic standard, and in competing vehicles, you might pay about as much as a Volkswagen Golf to get those. Six piston calipers in the front, four pistons in the rear. If you want them to be gray like this, extra thousand dollars. The thing I love about the convertible Volante version is the windshield is so far forward, you're really out in the air. Some convertibles you're under here, you almost don't feel like you're out. The downside is when the soft top is up, it's a little hard to see traffic signals and signs, but overall for a soft top, visibility front and rear is about what we've come to expect. Now, the interior is very rich, you can get the classic wood trim. This one's kind of done up in the more modern Piano Black, more metallic look. I've got really good, comfortable seats. Now, if you're familiar with the navigation system in Aston Martins, this one is a little bit better than they've been. It's a Garmin System, unfortunately it uses the same control center which is baffling and a joystick. I assure you joy never comes into the picture. Now there's also the usual complaint about British cars. This is a cup holder, Brits don't care for beverages. Now let's talk about the back seat. Aston Martin calls this a two plus two, which means they don't expect full use for the backseat. They say that leg room is about 26 inches. I see zero inches, now to give it the fairest test for back seat leg room, I'm running the front seat forward. Let's see how it works. We're not forward all the way yet. Here we go. All right, that's it. Obviously I can't sit here. Now with full leg room for the backseat. Now, granted I'm six feet tall. Why are we even having this conversation? In the same vein, the trunk at five and a half cubic feet, very small. The coupe is six and a half, a little bit better. Now for the details on the driving experience check out my review at cars.com. You might think a car, this expensive is always going to feel great to drive, actually not true, But I always like driving the Aston Martins, including the Virage. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, KickingTires.net.