By 1996, production of the DB7 was in full swing and was outselling the established, exclusive but considerably more expensive 'V' cars by a significant margin. Despite this, production of the individually coachbuilt 'V' cars was still considered viable and their popularity was broadened with the introduction of an 'entry level’ model to replace the slow selling Virage coupe.
Introduced at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show, the V8 Coupe is best described as an un-supercharged, less complicated alternative to the Vantage rather than merely a restyled Virage. It not only shared much of the external styling of the supercharged car but also much of the running gear too.
The concept of a more spacious Volante had begun in the early 1990s as evidenced by a styling sketch of a long wheelbase Virage Volante in the AMHT archives. The V8 Volante (LWB) would have been introduced far sooner than the October 1997 London Motor Show if perhaps the outgoing Virage Volante had sold a little faster than it actually did. The styling of the LWB Volante followed that of the V8 Coupe with the six headlight front and round rear lights together with smooth flowing lines and sophisticated compound curves similar to, but not as extreme as, the 6.3 Virage Volante. The air dam was the same style as used on the V8 Coupe with the integral fog lights.
A tip to aid easy identification is that all V8 Coupes have oval 'Ford' style side flashers whereas the V8 Vantage has rectangular side flashers with the exception of the Vantage Le Mans. Also V8 Coupes have a chrome strip above the front bumper, and the similar V8 Volante LWB has a similar chrome strip but between the bumper and air dam, whilst the Vantage has no chrome strip at all.