Almost out of nowhere, the Geneva Motor Show just got a whole lot more interesting: Aston Martin will be showing its latest supertourer, the Virage. Sitting between the DBS and DB9, the Virage will be available in both coupe and Volante convertible models.

Powered by Aston's familiar 6.0-liter V-12 engine, rated at 490 horsepower in this application, and offering what Aston calls its "highest levels of refinement and dynamic control yet" the Virage is the Goldilocks Aston--not too big, not too small.

With a characteristically Aston curve and face, the Virage nonetheless manages to look unique, the lines dynamic and fast even at rest. It should prove quite capable, as well, though it won't be the raw seat-of-the-pants drive of the V12 Vantage. It's more refined than that.

A 50/50 weight distribution, six-speed Touchtronic II automatic transmission/transaxle, and a new Adaptive Damping System combine to meet the road with both grip and grace. A sport setting allows the driver to select sharper throttle response and harder gear changes. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, and the Virage rides on a bonded-aluminum VH architecture, cutting weight while remaining rigid.

If the Virage name sounds familiar, kudos on the long memory: it was last used by Aston in 2000. The new Virage will enter production later this year.


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