Aston Martin V8 Virage

Aston Martin V8 Virage

Year of production 1989 - 1994


Category: Newport Pagnell era

The Virage was Aston Martin's replacement for the decades-old V8 models. Introduced at the Birmingham Motor Show in 1988, it was joined by the high-performance Vantage in 1993, and the name of the standard car was changed to V8 in 1996.

This V8-powered car was intended as the company's top model, with the 6-cylinder 1994 DB7 slotted below it. Although the DB7 switched to a V12 engine and claimed the performance crown, this V8 model (by then in Vantage form) remained the exclusive, expensive, and hand-built king of Astons. It was replaced in 2000 with the Vanquish. The V8 Vantage name reappeared on a new entry-level model in 2005. By the end of the 2000 model year, 1,050 of all Virage related models had been produced.

A new generation Virage was introduced at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, to fit into the middle of Aston Martin's current lineup.

Virage coupe

(1989 - 1994)

Following the successful motor show launch of the Virage (the French word for corner), orders flooded into AML. This was after all, the first truly new AM for 20 years and the wealthy were spending money on the back of the 1980's economic boom. Based on a modified Lagonda chassis, the Virage received an updated, catalysed, fuel injected 4 valve per cylinder version of the classic V8, developed in association with Callaway Engineering of Connecticut, USA.

Still displacing 5340cc, the engine was certified for all markets so even the US car produced 330 bhp @ 5300rpm and torque of 350lb/ft @ 4000rpm ,a significant improvement against the 200bhp that seen in strangulated V8′s throughout most of the 1980′s. Before production of the Virage ended, AML revised published power and torque down to 310bhp and 340 lb/ft which I suspect was due tighter emission controls being introduced.

As with many Aston Martins throughout history, certain parts are borrowed from other cars. For instance, the rear light clusters are from the VW Scirocco; headlamps courtesy of the Audi 100. Whilst some might say that this a bad thing, but without these small but expensive to manufacture parts, there would be no Astons today. What must be remembered is that the body panels have been hand made especially for the individual car and the engine has been assembled by just one man who will have spent a whole working week on it alone.

Virage 6.3 litre coupe

Because 330 bhp is simply not enough, in January 1992, AML Customer Service Division (now known as Works Service) introduced the Virage 6.3 conversion, based on experience gained on the AMR1 Group C race cars. The work carried out on customers own cars is much more than just an enlargement of the engines capacity to 6347cc. The £50,000 conversion (1992 price) also involves changes to the suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres and bodywork to cope with the additional power.

Initially power was quoted as 465bhp but was revised in 1993 with the adoption of a high lift cam and solid tappets to 500bhp @ 6000rpm and 480lb of torque @5800rpm – that’s a 60% increase from the standard engine. The 14 inch ventilated and cross drilled disc brakes with four cylinder racing callipers, also derived from the AMR1, are still claimed to be the largest fitted to any production car in the world.

Many of the hand-crafted aluminium body modifications related to the 6.3 are well evident in the above picture; substantially flared wheel arches, deep front air dam, boot mounted spoiler, extended sills, extended rear valance and side air vents. The side air vents were a feature of the initial Virage design but were not used on production cars at least initially. They reappeared with the 6.3 and later Virages and also on the Volante and Vantage. Stylish split rim five spoke 10.5*18 inch OZ alloy wheels with 285/45 ZR Goodyear Eagle tyres ensure more than adequate grip and traction. A small number of cars were also modified to 6.3 cosmetic specification retaining the 5.3 engine unmodified. These are known as 6.3 Cosmetic or Virage wide body.

Driving through a five or six speed manual ZF gearbox, or three speed automatic transmission, the extra power is sufficient to power the Virage 6.3 to 175mph, with 0-60 and 0-100mph acceleration taking just 5.5 and 11.5 seconds respectively.

Aston Martin Virage

The Aston Martin Virage made its debut at the Birmingham Motor Show in 1988. The Aston Martin Virage, which was designed by John Heffernan and Ken Greeley, was applauded for its styling, and it proved to be more quieter and more comfortable than the older V8's.

The new engine was developed in co-operation with Callaway Engineering and was fitted with entirely new cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder for better breathing and to overcome power losses inevitable with the use of catalytic converters. This was to allow the engine to run on unleaded fuel anywhere, but particularly in America.

In March of 1992, a 6.3 litre version of the Aston Martin Virage was revealed with a top speed of 174 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. Handling and braking was improved and for the first time on an Aston Martin the option of ABS was offered. The chassis was quite a bit different from any previous design although it retained the same basic dimensions for wheelbase and track. But computer aided design (CAD) had enabled the chassis to be refined, lighter yet torsionally stronger. Body changes were minimal with flared wheel arches, revised front spoiler, and an optional rear spoiler.

In 1993, came the Mk II 6.3 litre Aston Martin Virage which had been reworked and improved to create 465 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 460 lbs-ft of torque at 5800 rpm. A ZF 6-speed manual was also available. 0-60 mph stood at 5.2 seconds with the Mk II conversion.

The Aston Martin Virage Volante made its world premiere at the 1990 Birmingham Motor Show.

Technical Specifications

  • Engine: dohc V-8, 5340 cc, 330 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 350 lbs-ft @ 3700 rpm (Volante 300 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 350 lbs-ft @ 3700 rpm)
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual, 3-speed automatic
  • Suspension
    • Front: Independent, traverse unequal-length wishbones, anti-roll bar, coil springs
    • Rear: de Dion axle, trailing arms, Watt linkage, coil springs
  • Brakes: Servo assisted front/rear discs/ABS
  • Length: 15'7" (4737 mm)
  • Width: 6'1" (1854 mm)
  • Height: 4'4" (1321 mm)
  • Wheelbase: 8'7" (2610 mm)
  • Weight: 1790 kg
  • Top Speed: 155 mph (250 kph)
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 sec. (Automatic)
  • Production Dates: 1988 - 1995
  • Price New: £ 129,950 (Coupe), £ 149, 000 (Volante)

Produced sub-models Models


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Photo gallery Aston Martin V8 Virage

1994 Aston Martin V8 Virage Volante
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1992 Aston Martin V8 Virage Volante 6.3 Conversion
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1992 Aston Martin V8 Virage Volante 6.3 Conversion
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1992 Aston Martin V8 Virage Volante 6.3 Conversion
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Manuals Aston Martin V8 Virage Upload new manual

Recalls (9) Add

Model Year Document Language Size Pages
V8 Virage 1997 service bulletin 1997 vantage v8 coupe front lower windscreen rail finisher drainage.pdf English 161 KB 3
V8 Virage 1996 service bulletin 1996 vantage v8 coupe volante alternator routing security.pdf English 191 KB 3
V8 Virage 1996 service bulletin 1996 vantage v8 coupe engine oil cooler pipes to oil pump orientation.pdf English 160 KB 3
V8 Virage Volante 1995 service bulletin 1995 volante revised engine management electronic control unit.pdf English 173 KB 3
V8 Virage 1995 service bulletin 1995 volante virage le installation of plastic covers over protruding screws.pdf English 150 KB 3
V8 Virage Volante 1994 service bulletin 1994 volante improved air flow over engine cooling fan resistor.pdf English 158 KB 3
V8 Virage Volante 1994 service bulletin 1994 volante carbon canister purge line restrictor.pdf English 139 KB 3
V8 Virage Volante 1993 service bulletin 1993 volante revised epi relay harness modification.pdf English 103 KB 3
V8 Virage 1991 service bulletin 1991 virage revised setting procedure for throttle potentiometer.pdf English 224 KB 2

Our vehicles Aston Martin V8 Virage Add a vehicle

1995 Aston Martin V8 Virage Limited Edition Coupe 5.3 (326 cui) V8

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Fuel gasoline. 3-speed Automatic transmission. Engine 5 341 ccm (326 cui), 8-cylinder, Furcate.

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1994 Aston Martin V8 Virage Volante 5.3 (326 cui) V8

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Fuel gasoline. 4-speed Automatic transmission. Engine 5 341 ccm (326 cui), 8-cylinder, Furcate.

1995 Aston Martin V8 Virage Volante 5.3 (326 cui) V8

1 photos

Fuel gasoline. 3-speed Automatic transmission. Engine 5 341 ccm (326 cui), 8-cylinder, Furcate.


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