Whatever it is the Virage could be a case of milking the current vehicle architecture for all its worth. Being a small volume manufacturer, Aston Martin needs numbers to be profitable, and this is the simplest way to create a new spin on old things; i.e slap on a new name onto something that is only a few percent different. But does a car like the Virage actually warrant the use of a new name?
Sure, it is more luxurious than the DB9 (how much more luxurious is debatable as it is an Aston Martin in the first place, not a Lada) and it has a sexier, larger rear end but thatís about it. Couldnít they just call it the DB9 Super Sexy or something like that?
Actually this is nothing new. We get to see badge engineering all the time when it comes to bread and butter products. Take the Daihatsu Sirion for instance, sell it in Japan, it becomes a Boon. Everywhere else its a Sirion. Add a bonnet scoop and some badging as well as a turbo it becomes a Boon X4. You throw away all Daihatsu badging and it can either be a Toyota Passo or a Subaru Justy or a Perodua Myvi. Aston Martin is doing is what Daihatsu does to the Sirion/Boon; milking the heck out of a chassis for maximum profitability. But Aston Martin isn't selling bread and butter cars, are they? Should a slightly different body kitted car be considered a whole new model?
So the question is whether such a thing is acceptable when the car costs over 100,000 Pounds instead of just ten or so thousand Pounds. I mean, if you have the cash to splurge on an Aston would you buy the middle child when you can opt for a very fantastic DBS in the first place?