Aston Martin Singapore launches the Virage and Vantage S

Aston Martin Singapore launches the Virage and Vantage S

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
02 Sep 2011

Beautiful, dynamic and prestigious, the Virage combines outright sports car performance with luxury, comfort and refinement.
The front mid-mounted V12 engine’s torque delivery provides outstanding performance, coupled with the car’s inherent agility, light and perfect weight distribution delivering the ideal balance between the spirit of a race car and trademark sporting luxury exemplified by modern Aston Martins.

Aston Martin CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez said: “100 years of automotive history has demonstrated that evolution delivers the best solutions in time.

“So it is with Virage; it is the next level of evolution in our VH architecture strategy and it does everything with the perfection that you would expect today. It is the perfect balance of opposites.”
The Virage sits between the enduringly elegant DB9 and overtly sporting DBS, providing customers with a car that remains luxurious and understated but delivers increased performance and crucially performance that is always accessible for effortless driving.
Aston Martin’s revered hand-built 6.0 litre V12 engine produces 490 bhp (365 kW/497 PS) and 570 nM (420 lb. Ft) of torque and through its carbon fibre prop shaft, is mated to a six-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission mounted on the transaxle contributing to perfect 50:50 weight balance.

The Virage’s dynamics have been tuned to deliver an engaging yet more refined driving experience, where the driver can extract the maximum performance from the car with greater ease. A newly developed Adaptive Damping System (ADS) intelligently ‘reads’ the road to provide optimum road holding, adapting to different conditions. The system now selects up to five different stiffness settings within normal mode, and a further five stiffer settings within sport mode.
Aiding driver control, a ‘Sport’ button on the facia allows the driver to select a sharper throttle response and faster gear changes while also holding the gears without automatically shifting up at the revolution limiter.

The Virage will be delivered with Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes as standard, bucking the trend in this market, delivering progressive and tremendous stopping power. Powerful, and resistant to fade and much lighter than conventional cast-iron discs, the CCM braking system means that not only is the overall vehicle weight reduced, but the weight saving at each wheel means that a better balance between ride comfort and handling can be struck. Lower rotational mass also provides improved acceleration.

Virage capitalises on the technology from the DBS and unites it with the comfort and refinement found in the DB9 and Rapide. Aston Martin’s own bonded aluminium ‘VH’ architecture that forms the backbone of the marque’s sports cars, takes inspiration from the aerospace industry where weight reduction is the ultimate goal. Strong yet light, the inherent properties of modular aluminium lend themselves perfectly to an extremely rigid and versatile platform which allows the production of a 2+2, and a 2+0.

The Virage sits low and wide asserting the power which lies beneath; single bi-xenon headlamps follow the lines of the car’s flanks to give a more crisp and modern look from the front. A new aluminium metal front grille, inspired by the One-77, features five horizontal vanes which are chamfered creating an aerofoil profile. The new front bumper is pure and relieves the car of any visual complexities contributing to the simplicity of design. The front wings distinguish the Virage from its stable mates housing a new modern interpretation of the Aston Martin iconic side strake housing six LEDs elegantly forming the side repeater. The Virage’s side sills carry the simplicity of the front bumper through to the rear diffuser which houses a body-coloured blade accentuating the width of the car.
As drivers and passengers open the signature swan wing doors, they are greeted by the aroma of seven hides of the finest Bridge of Weir leather expertly hand stitched by craftsmen. Inspiration has been taken from luxury leather goods to produce a pinstripe welt which flows down either side of the facia and along the seat and door, drawing your eye through the car. Each Virage will have 70 man hours of expert craftsmanship lavished on the interior alone to create the famous sophisticated Aston Martin interior. In all, over 200 man hours will be spent handcrafting the Virage at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England as it becomes the 12th major production car to be built there in the space of less than eight years.

the Virage site between the DB9 and DBS in Aston Martin's line up.

The Aston Martin Vantage range comes of age with the new V8 Vantage S characterised by a host of new driver-focussed features all designed to push the honed dynamics of the standard Vantage to a new benchmark level.

Aston Martin’s own 4.7 litre V8 engine has been engineered to deliver peak power of 430 bhp (436 PS / 321 kW) at 7300 rpm and torque of 490 Nm (361 lb.ft) at 5000 rpm and is coupled with a new ground-up developed Sportshift™ II transmission specifically designed for the Vantage S with seven short ratio gears to deliver the most engaging and intense driver involvement.

“The Vantage S epitomises every attribute of the V8 Vantage and pushes the driver experience beyond what we have offered before,” says Dr. Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin, “It combines dynamic exhilaration with all the charming finesse, beauty and practicality already associated with the Vantage range.”

Dynamic revisions are central to the Vantage S, with a quickened steering rack ratio of 15:1 compared to 17:1 on the standard car and a larger diameter front brake disc with new six-piston front brake calipers. New springs and dampers, and wider rear wheels also contribute to chassis revisions. A new dynamic stability control (DSC) system specifically tuned to the Vantage S along with a new brake module providing features such as Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) which provides assistance in emergency braking situations, and Hill Start Assist (HSA). Bespoke tyres have been developed with Bridgestone to optimise road holding enhancing dynamic feel.

At the core of the Vantage S is the new seven speed Sportshift II automated manual transmission, offered as standard and delivers exceedingly rapid gear changes, twenty per cent quicker than Sportshift™. The extra gear permits shorter well-spaced ratios taking advantage of the optimum torque, which combined with a shorter final drive ratio of 4.182:1 delivers quicker acceleration and an enhanced sporting feel. The inherent benefits of a single clutch system reduces complexity and significant weight over a dual clutch solution. Sportshift™ II allows the driver to take an increased level of control, modulating the throttle pedal to achieve the desired type of gear change. In addition, the Vantage S features a ‘Sport’ button which quickens the gear changes and gives the driver a more aggressive throttle response while also opening the exhaust bypass valves across most of the engine speed range perfectly characterising the ‘S’ variant.

As with every Aston Martin, the Vantage S benefits from its own unique sound with a new exhaust muffler and bypass valve map, creating a very distinctive and highly vocal exhaust note.
The Vantage S is instantly recognisable as a true Aston Martin, characterised by its purposeful stance conveying its agility and performance capability. From the front, a new lower front bumper finished in perfectly-aligned carbon fibre houses a larger air intake feeding the engine and front brakes. The splitter combined with the extended deck lid ‘flip’ work in harmony to provide increased down force at speed. New 19 inch ‘V’ spoke wheel styles are available as standard, while an optional 10-spoke lightweight forged wheel option, reduces unsprung mass further. A new rear bumper and side sills optically widen the car.

Bridging the gap between road car and race car, the Vantage S is heavily influenced by the 2011 Vantage GT4 race car. The GT4 takes advantage of the Vantage’s immensely rigid bonded aluminium chassis, providing the ideal platform for a race car. Minor racing safety modifications including an FIA approved roll cage and racing ‘bag’ petrol tank along with weight saving measures are made to the standard road car to convert it into a class winning race car. In 2010, it won its class at the Dubai 24 Hours following this up with further endurance race wins at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, Silverstone 24 Hours and Spa 24 Hours. It also won its first major international championship victory in the European GT4 Cup.

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