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Steering, suspension and ride comfort

This area more than any other should, according to Aston, set the Virage apart from its brethren. The adaptive dampers work best in the default Normal mode, when the body is kept under control but the dampers soak up the worst of the road’s scarring at any speed.

Although the suspension can jar uncomfortably over sharper surface disturbances, the vast majority of the time the firm but well resolved ride quality is a more than acceptable compromise.

Active dampers give the Virage one of the most comfortable rides in the class

Set the dampers to Normal, and there is a breadth of ability that allows the Virage to be calm and comfortable one moment and taut the next. It shades the DBS, previously considered class best in this respect.

Handling is equally impressive. It is never as sharp or responsive as the most focused cars in this rarefied price bracket, but its chassis is well sorted. There is enough feedback through the steering and enough natural poise that you can really lean on the Virage and it will reward.

It has a wider range of ability in terms of its ease of use but comes perilously close to matching the DBS’s level of response when pushed. The Virage is not so much in a different class from the DB9 and DBS as intruding on both.

The standard carbon-ceramic brakes provided outstanding stopping power and resistance to fade.

There is noticeable flexing in the Volante due to the lack of a solid roof, and although its firmer damper settings proved worthwhile on track, they were never necessary or beneficial on the road. Which isn’t a criticism of Aston’s decision to include the firmer settings so much as praise for how able the active dampers are in Normal mode.

Aston Martin Virage 2011-2012 news

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