Aston Martin have come out with a new model called the Virage, which is supposed to “fill the gap” between the DB9 and the DBS. Having seen one in person recently, I can attest that it is a glorious car. The problem with it though is that there really wasn’t a market gap between the DB9 and DBS that needed to be filled in the first place.
The Virage itself as a car is magnificent in all ways, and it surely is a proper Aston. It has a nice, sort of fresh appeal to it over the DBS and DB9 both, in that it has a far sexier name and the fact that its redesigned look puts even the beauty of other Astons to shame. With 490hp on tap and revised tuning of the car’s torque delivery I’m sure it will not disappoint when you put the foot down. I saw it on Top Gear in the new season, and James May hated the fact that the ride was too stiff, but for my taste that is a good thing. Surely, I am convinced that the Virage is absolutely fantastic as a car, and I hope to be able to drive one some time.
My problems with the car lie in other areas relating to marketing and development. When I first heard the Virage was coming out and that it was going to “fill the gap between DB9 and DBS” I had to scratch my head and wonder just what gap that was. In my view, there was the DB9, which was a great all round GT car, and the DBS, which upped the sporting level. The addition of the Virage between them is over-segmentation, something that I hate, and something that is usually bad for business. Giving people too much choice just winds up creating competition between your own models and wasting your resources.
As stated before, I love the new look of the Virage. It is beautiful on another level than any of the current, already gorgeous, Aston Martins. I just think that it would have been a better idea just to make it a facelift for the entire DB9 platform and add in the Virage’s features wherever they would best suit each model. Even use the “Virage” name to signify the revised generation; the DB9 Virage and the DBS Virage. It still has that same sex appeal, renews interest in the DB9 and DBS because of the new look and features, and shouldn’t cause the internal competition that the Virage is surely causing now. I would venture to say that most buyers of the Virage would have bought either a DB9 or DBS anyway had the Virage not come out, especially if Aston had done with the new revisions above. In any event, they are really only stealing sales from themselves–never a good thing.
So, I love the Virage as a car, but I think it was a foolish decision by Aston’s bean counters to try and add another model in a range where there wasn’t room for one, as the Virage is just too close to both cars that it sits between.