How long does it take to assemble a fine piece of automotive art? Aston Martin says some 200 man-hours. And the Gaydon, Warwickshire-based automaker of premium vehicles will spend those 200 hours bringing the new Virage back from the great beyond.
In its day, the original Virage was heralded as the next great Aston, a daring project that took a bold step away from the V8s of the time. Today, there's little pressure on the new model. It will stand well on its own, slotted between the DB9 and DBS, and presumably earn a high amount of automotive respect.
The very first Virage came off the line more than 20 years ago, and offered a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic. Version 1.0 appeared at the 1988 Birmingham Motor Show in England, and the Virage Volante followed with a 1990 debut. Production ran from 1988 to 1995. As viewed through our modern eyes, the Virage wasn't particularly powerful--the 5.4-liter V-8 pushed out 330 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque as a coupe, and 300 horsepower as a convertible. Each weighed a tad over 3900 pounds and was fitted with de Dion rear axles with trailing-arm suspensions out back, simplistic parts that would be an unusual sight on today's sports cars. In 1992, a more powerful 6.3-liter V-8 entered the mix, eventually hitting 465 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Even more incredibly, 1992 was the first time in Aston Martin's history that the now-ubiquitous ABS was offered. The Virage cost well over $200,000, similar to today's base price.