Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

CAR OF THE MONTH August 2011

2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante Review

High-Class Convertible

A front view of a 2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante

In short: A powerful and luxurious 2-door convertible.

he Virage name is back in the Aston Martin lineup. This sleek convertible, also available as a coupe, slots itself exactly between the high-end DB9 and the sporty DBS. They all look very similar, with only trained eyes able to make out obvious differences, like the new front grille inspired by the One-77 übercar. Following everybody's lead in the LED department, Aston Martin adorns the Virage with six such elegant lights in each of the front light housings.

Powered by a massive German-built V12 boasting 48 valves and 5.9 liters of cylinder displacement, making a total of 490 horsepower all delivered in a progressively throaty roar, the car is very quiet at idle and low RPM settings. Trying to match the manufacturer's broadcasted 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds would be a good demonstration of its sound signature, but then again cruising down Rodeo Drive on a summer day, you'd be hard-pressed to hear much of anything at all — and the ride is very comfortable for a sports car. You can vary driving modes, as well, by pushing the Sport button when things get more dynamic, making use of the Adaptive Damping System, and also alter the engine's singing. Should an obstacle get in your way, you'll be thankful to have the efficient, ventilated carbon ceramic brakes, which come standard on this model.

An interior view of the 2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante

The 6.0-liter V12 engine of the 2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante

The Aston Martin Virage's structure is based on the company's 'VH' architecture and is executed in a bonded aluminum shell delivering ultimate weight reduction. Everything is handmade here and countless hours were spent building the luxurious stitched-leather interior, accessed by the signature swan wing doors. With rapid evolution of technology, a new Garmin-developed satellite navigation system operated by a four-way joystick keeps you on track. Our onyx black tester with yellow-highlighted brake calipers came with an optional 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system ($8,330), an upgrade form the standard 700-watt version with full iPod integration. Yes, you get Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats, cruise control, etc., although playing with the powerplant through the paddles will keep you occupied and generally happy.

The Aston Martin Virage Volante convertible makes for the perfect summertime ride — that is, if you can afford the $200,000+ point of entry. As with most convertibles, you'll need to deal with space restrictions if your ride takes you farther than jewelry shopping in Beverly Hills.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante

Read our book review: Aston Martin: Ever the Thoroughbred

Warranty/Service: 3-year/unlimited-mile warranty; 3-year/unlimited mile drivetrain warranty; 10-year/unlimited-mile rust perforation warranty; 2-year/unlimited-mile 24-hour roadside assistance

Base Price: $222,895 / As Tested: $240,310

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, 4-passenger, 2-door convertible

Engine: 6.0-liter V12
Horsepower: 490 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 420 lb-ft @ 5,750 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission

Curb weight:
4,150 lbs
Wheelbase: 107.9 in
Length/Width/Height: 185.2/75/50.5 in

4-wheel ventilated, carbon ceramic disc brakes with ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist
Suspension: front and rear independent double wishbones with coil springs, anti-roll bars and monotube adaptive dampers

Traction: dynamic stability control with traction control

0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds
Top Speed: 186 mph

EPA City:
13 mpg
EPA Highway: 18 mpg

Safety: dual-stage driver and passenger front airbags; front head and thorax airbags

Likes: style, performance; image

Dislikes: room; price; mileage...if you have to ask


Check out other Aston Martin models
See all of our Automobile Reviews
Visit the Aston Martin website

Photography: AlphaMedia

PNW070111 (Updated: 01/31/13 NW)