2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante Review

It's an Aston Martin. Need we say more?

2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante Review

Prior to 1964, unless you were a die hard sports car aficionado, most Americans had never heard of Aston Martin.  Then the James Bond movie Goldfinger came out, and almost overnight, everyone in the world knew what an Aston Martin was.  The DB5 used in the movie became the most recognizable and talked about car on the planet. For the movie, it came equipped with all manner of spy gadgets including a GPS tracking screen, machine guns, oil slick sprayer, nail spreader and smoke screen, extendable spinner wheel knock-offs, bullet proof shield, and a red button located on the gear shift knob to activate the passenger ejector seat. 


1. A 5.9L V12 making 497 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque motivate the Virage. An 8000 rpm redline is near unheard of for an engine this size.

2. All the usual Aston luxuries accoutrements are available, including hand crafted interior and a Bang & Olufsen stereo.

3. The Virage is slotted between the more touring-oriented DB9 and the hardcore DBS.

4. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but if you have to ask…

For the times, that DB5 was about as good as it got for powerful British sports cars.  It boasted 282 horsepower from its 6 cylinder motor, and would scoot to 60 miles per hour in 8.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 135 miles per hour.  And while you could buy Fords new top of the line Mustang, (which also appeared in that film as a victim of those extendable spinner knock-offs) for about $3,000, the DB5 would set you back about 13 Grand!

The 2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante, which slots in between their the DB9 and top of the line DBS model, is filled with all manner of amenities and gadgets which even James Bond couldn’t have imagined, including a real pop-up navigation screen, but it lacks the anti-personnel features of the DB5 movie car. Today, all one has to do is depress the accelerator pedal, and unleash the 490 horsepower from its 6-Liter V-12 engine, which scoots from zero to 60 in only 4.6 seconds, and then keep charging up to the top speed of 183 miles per hour, to leave anyone chasing you in the dust.  It’s much simpler and even more fun.

2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante


2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante Wheel

Automotive journalists are not supposed to get hung up on the price of a car, nor the marque, when evaluating it for review. But it is almost impossible not to be taken it by the aura of a car like this.  And let’s face it, that’s part of what the well heeled buyers are looking for when they write a check for nearly a quarter of a million bucks. They want to feel like James Bond every time they enter the car, and want to promote that mystique to everyone else on the road who sees them driving it. 

The Volante is a treat for the eyes with its bold sleek styling that oozes sex appeal. The familiar six sided grill with its five aluminum slats sits low across its nose, just above the trapezoidal lower air intake with flared corners that flow into the upswept creased side sills. The single bi-xenon headlamps, which feature a strip of trendy LED lights follow the lines of the car’s flanks to give a more crisp and modern look from the front. Just behind the front wheel arches surrounding the 10-spoke, 20” graphite wheels, are the iconic Aston Martin side strakes, with 6 LED lights that activate with the turn signals, and flow into the swan wing doors. The car’s rear haunches are accentuated with wide rear wheel wells and the body colored rear diffuser enhances the wide look of the rear deck. Dual chrome exhaust ports peek out from the blacked out rear fascia. This is a special car, and it looks the part.


2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante Right Side Drive

Slip into the Virage’s cockpit and you are immediately greeted by the smell of seven of the finest Bridge of Weir leather hides that make up the interior, and contrasting double stitching accents the entire cabin. Seventy man hours of bespoke craftsmanship goes into each interior, and it shows in the fine details. The heated seats are supportive and comfortably bolstered to caress the driver’s body. Black lacquer and brushed aluminum serve as contrasting appointments rather than traditional wood trim. All the controls are well laid out and easy to use, and feel right to the touch. The one exception is the round dial “joystick” control for the Garmin Nav System.Trust us; there is no joy in trying to operate that dial.

Cylindrical Bang & Olufsen speakers pop out of the corners of the dash when the radio is turned on and recede when turned off. The headliner for the cloth top feels luxurious and insulates the cabin from noise and cold quite effectively. A simple push button drops the top quickly where it’s hidden beneath a hard cover. While the Virage is technically a 2+2, equipped with rear seats, it would be almost impossible to have anyone other than small children to actually use them. A parcel shelf would be a better use of the space. 


Insert the elegant crystal key fob into the dash to power up this Aston Martin and the V-12 sings a pleasant song. Mash the gas pedal and it turns into a nasty growl as the ponies and torque push you back into the seat all the way up to the 8000rpm redline. All that power and torque is sent to the rear wheels via a carbon fiber prop shaft and mated to a 6-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission mounted on the transaxle contributing to perfect 50/50 weight balance. 

2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante Dash

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 rev limiter. With all the power and torque of the engine, there is always plenty of grunt available for quick passes, regardless of what mode you set it for. Of course if you choose to handle all the gear changes yourself, stationery paddle shifters are mounted behind the wheel, and since they don’t move with the steering wheel, it takes a little time to get used to. But all shifts are quick and immediate, and it is fun to flick through the gears yourself. 

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 five stiffer settings within sport mode.

On the road, the Aston Martin Virage Volante handles extremely well. While the car generally feels solid, with the top down it still had more cowl shake and judder than we would have liked or expected in a car of this price. The Virage corners with confidence and despite the 4166 lb. heft of the car there is not much body lean. And knowing that all the electronics are working to keep you out of trouble, the driver can explore the handling capabilities to its fullest, without fear of trashing their large investment. A heavy throttle powering out of a turn will both delight and frighten you until the traction control takes hold and gets everything back into shape before the next turn arises.  This car loves to play on twisties, and it will eat up the miles eagerly. 

2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante Action Left

Of course, with all the power and cornering capabilities, brakes are an important part of the equation.  The Virage comes equipped with Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes as standard; other cars in this price range usually offer ceramic brakes as an option which usually cost more than a compact car. These brakes deliver 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.


It would be impossible not to like this car. It is a unique and thrilling visceral driving experience because of the power and handling capabilities, but also because of its price and heritage. Each owner will bring his own unique set of mental images and attitude to the driving experience and it will be reflected back to him while driving the Aston Martin Virage Volante. And just as with any car in this price range . . . that is a big part of the ownership satisfaction.

2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante Action Right

Related Reading
Ferrari California Review
Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 Review
Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder Review
Bentley Continental GTC Speed Review
Aston Martin DBS Volante Review

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked