Jul 20, 2018, 12:24 PM


Virage – Aston Martin’s long-awaited new car for the 1990s – was unveiled on the 18 October 1988 at the British International Motor Show in the Birmingham NEC. The Virage was one of the sensations of the show, despite the surprise first showing of the Jaguar XJ220 supercar. The name had been chosen by Victor Gauntlett and his fellow directors from suggestions by Aston Martin employees and AMOC members.

‘Virage’ – French for ‘bend’ or ‘corner’ – fitted well with the established names Vantage and Volante, leading to the 1990s V8 cars being known as the ‘V range’.

Styling of the Virage was decided by a competition in which entrants were given just three months to come up with a design and a quarter-scale model of their proposals. The overall winner, the work of two young British designers John Heffernan and Ken Greenley, was a notchback design with pop-up headlights, although these were not a feature of the production car.

The car, initially known as Design Project 2034, was under intense but secretive development for three years. The very first DP2034 Virage prototype mule was in fact so well disguised that it was thought to be a two-door Lagonda.