Why is the Aston Martin Virage so beautiful?

By 1988, Aston Martin's flagship V8 was starting to look and feel a little dated; after all, it had been in production already for nearly 20 years. It was time for a new model to give sales a re-boost, so the company looked around for suggestions for a restyle. A number of independent stylists were consulted and the choice eventually fell on John Heffernan and Ken Greenley, from the Royal College of Art it was first unveiled at the Birmingham motor show in 1998.


Was it expensive?

This depends on how you look at it. The car was handbuilt (you can actually find out who built it, since the builder's name was engraved on a plaque affixed to the engine), with the bodywork entirely in aluminium. The 5,340cc DOHC 32-Valve V8 Engine with electronic fuel injection produced 310 brake horsepower, producing a top speed of around 160 miles an hour. It was £150,000, or thereabouts, too much to pay? Over 1000 buyers thought otherwise.


What about the ride?

Stately and elegant, rather than fast and furious, was the intention. However, this car was no slouch with plenty of bottom-end torque to provide effortless acceleration, with 0-60 in 5.2 seconds, which gave it sports car performance despite the weight of the car.


Was it comfortable?

With deep pile carpets, acres of real leather and polished wood, the interior could not have been more luxurious.


Were there variants?

In 1993 the Vantage was introduced; this featured twin superchargers which pushed up the power output to a mind-boggling 557 brake horsepower. There were very few cars on the road faster than this one, with a top speed of around 190 mph and at the time it was claimed to be the fastest four seater car in the world.