Aston Martin discontinues Virage due to lack of interest

2012 Aston martin Virage front three-quarter viewThe Aston Martin Virage is on its way to becoming a prized collectible. The V12 powered GT and middle child in Aston’s two-door, four-seater lineup, is being discontinued after only 18 months on sale.

With a 5.9-liter V12 and 490 horsepower, the Virage seems like an attractive proposition, but it is difficult to distinguish it from the other V12 two-doors in Aston’s lineup.

Including the Virage, Aston Martin makes three two-door, four-seat cars with V12 engines; the other two are the more basic DB9 and the sporty DBS flagship. All three are essentially the same car with different options and slightly different styling.

This strategy works for Porsche and its ubiquitous 911, but that’s because the various 911 models are distinct from one another. This is not the case with the Virage. The middle Aston has a nice name, but it only has 20 more horsepower than a DB9, and styling changes that are the equivalent of an aftermarket body kit.

Aston may have intended the Virage to split the difference between the relatively cushy DB9 and the sporty DBS, but those two models weren’t that different to begin with; the DBS is essentially a performance version of the DB9. True, the DBS has 510 hp, compared to the DB9’s 470, but it costs almost $87,000 more. That is a significant difference, but there just isn’t room in between for a third model.

The Virage could have offered a compromise between the more laid back dynamics of the DB9 and the hardcore DBS but, again, it was hard to tell the difference. Despite the wonders that can be done through software tweaks, the Virage was reportedly the worst of both worlds. It had the harsh ride of the DBS, but without that car’s precision.

Aston Martin is preparing a new car, the Vanquish, to replace the DBS. Maybe it will take a crack at another midrange model, or just combine the Virage and DB9 into one replacement for the slot below the Vanquish.

There is one bright side for current Virage owners: their cars will become highly collectible. Only 1,000 Virage coupes and convertibles have been made, so they will be incredibly rare. Car collectors love failures for that reason. Out of context, the Virage’s flaws will be less apparent. After all, it’s still a V12 Aston Martin with the gorgeous styling of a DB9/DBS.


Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.

Room to roam: The supersized X7 is unlike any BMW you’ve ever seen

The first-ever BMW X7 is the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image. Its supersized body has enough room for seven adult passengers and enough tech to impress even the most cutting-edge buyers.

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).

Porsche upgrades German factory to build Taycan electric cars

A Porsche factory that currently builds the automaker's popular sports cars will soon begin churning out Taycan electric cars. In preparation, Porsche is upgrading the factory to be high tech and low emissions.

Google Maps now shows EV owners the way to the nearest charging station

Google Maps now lets electric-car owners find the nearest charging station with ease. It's also added data on the number and types of ports available, charging speeds, and notes on the business where the station is located.

Heads up, George Jetson: Terrafugia starts taking orders for its flying car

The Terrafugia Transition flying car will go on sale next year, roughly a decade after the first prototype rolled out of its hangar. Terrafugia promises improvements, including a hybrid powertrain, to make up for the long wait.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.