Although it may seem ludicrous to launch a $1.9 million supercar in today's economic climate, the 2009 Aston Martin One-77 serves as a halo car for the iconic British brand.
"Quite simply it had to be the ultimate expression of Aston Martin," said CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez. "As you can now see, we have achieved that goal in magnificent style."
We'd have to agree. Though the sharp edges, quirky headlamps, and ribbed side panels may spur debate among Aston enthusiasts, the One-77 is refreshingly unique. Certain cues - notably the fluted grille and wrap-around taillights - are still present, but the car can't be mistaken for a "pedestrian" Vantage, DB9, or DBS.
The powertrain, it seems, is equally unique. Aston Martin engineers contracted with the geniuses at Cosworth Engineering to take the company's existing 6.0-liter V-12 as far as it can go. The result is a new 7.3-liter V-12, which Aston claims is good for 700+ hp. Incredibly, Cosworth also managed to reduce the engine's mass by 25 percent, helping improve the One-77's weight distribution.
Don't, however, look to row your own gears. The V-12 still sends its power to the rear wheels, but manages to do so via a new six-speed sequential manual transmission, complete with shift paddles mounted on the steering column. Although similar transmissions are offered on other Aston Martin cars, we're told this one was developed exclusively for the One-77, and may trickle down into the rest of the lineup.
We wouldn't expect a supercar to be without race-bred technologies, and the One-77 is no exception. Fully adjustable dampers, tuned for each customer prior to delivery, are standard equipment, as are carbon ceramic disc brakes. The latter will be particularly important, given the One-77 is expected to hit 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
If this sounds like your kind of car, it's probably too late to get your hands on one. In spite of the $1.9 million price tag, we hear most, if not all, of the 77-car production run is already spoken for.