• Aug 21st 2009 at 12:30PM
  • 46

Aston Martin One-77 at Galpin Motors - Click above for high-res image gallery

£1.25 million. That's Brit-speak for $1,800,000, give or take. A staggering amount of money. More than a Bugatti Veyron, more than a Lamborghini Reventón. Quite simply the most expensive new car, well, ever. Er, well, it would have been if not for the $2.2 million Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport. And for what? Before last night, we would have said nearly two million smackeroos gets you a widened DB9 with a large 7.3-liter V-12. Yes, there will be only seventy-seven hand built Aston Martin One-77s made, but so what? That's just way too much lucre, filthy or otherwise.

Aston Martin was good enough to invite us down to a post-Pebble Beach showing of its new hypercar in the impressive vault room at Los Angeles' Galpin Motors. Curtains circled the display, the car was draped with a cloth and many of the city's wealthiest citizens (most had previously purchased an Aston Martin from Galpin) enjoyed gratis cocktails mit snacks.

Before the covers came off they fired up and then revved the engine. Whoa. This was different. This was something special. The massive motor rapidly climbed through the range not like a normal big-bore V12, but more like an F1 car. Totally impressive. Finally the big Aston was revealed, and you know, it was still a nice looking car, but massively overpriced. And then they popped the hood.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

Our jaws hit the floor. This was no ordinary car, let alone ordinary Aston Martin. The first piece of candy that grabs your eyes are the F1-style inboard push-rod activated dampers. Not only do they greatly reduce unsprung weight, but there are adjustments for compression, rebound and another adjuster for the gas bypass reservoir. Pretty nifty. You next notice that the intake manifolds and valve covers are made from carbon fiber. But wait a second, why are the intake manifolds plumbed into the frame?

That's right. Those big vertical slits on either side of the gaping Aston Martin signature catfish grill are actually carbon fiber air inlets that take cold air in through the car's carbon fiber structure and then feed it to the engine. Having a car's frame so intimately tied into the engine is very, very novel. After we wrapped our minds around that, we spotted the ceramic-coated headers made from a fancy aluminum alloy (no one from Aston could remember the name of the material, so let's just assume unobtainium). Gorgeous, and each bundle of white snakes gets reduced down to one of four exhausts. We liked that the four exhaust tips are actually angled down towards the ground, a nice change of pace from the now ubiquitous rear-pointing quad pipes found on supercars (and wannabe supercars) everywhere.

Back to the engine, you also notice an awful lot of McLaren F1-style heat shielding gold foil. In fact, the top of the belly pan (i.e. the bottom of the engine compartment) is entirely covered in gold foil. Real gold, in case you're wondering. The bottom of the hood is also plastered with several swaths of the stuff. So, from top to bottom you get gold, carbon fiber, gold, aluminum then more gold. Pretty impressive. The motor begins life as an aluminum 6.0-liter DBS V12 before being embiggened to 7.3-liters (those present weren't sure if it was through boring and/or stroking). Want more? Legendary Cosworth handles most of the tweaking.

As for power, Aston Martin was a little light on details, but here's what we got out of them. The engine was just dyno'd in England at 740 crank horsepower. That's not the official number, as final tuning hasn't happened, but for a naturally aspirated mill, yowza. As for torque, we couldn't get a straight answer besides the usual British "adequate" refrain, but we did sneak a peak at some documentation sitting off in a corner and it said 553 lb-ft of the stuff. That's as much as a VW twin-turbo TDI V10 – the same motor Clarkson used to tow a 747. Keep in mind that this document stated the horsepower at 700, not the 740 hp they just spun on the dyno. For comparison's sake, the 6.5-liter V12 in the Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce makes "just" 487 lb-ft of twist. And the ragingist of all bulls hits 60 mph in 3.0 seconds. Translation: the One-77 is going to be a monster.

Especially as it only weighs 3,308 pounds. How so light? Almost every single structural component is built from magical carbon fiber, including the passenger tub. The doors are aluminum skinned carbon fiber. The roof is carbon fiber and the rest of the body (save the uppy-downy carbon fiber wing) is aluminum. But there's a softer side, too. Specifically the opulent interior, comprised of not just metal and regular leather but very thick hand-stitched saddle-leather inserts. We hope that you all are lucky enough to one day sit in a One-77, just to ogle the door pulls. After crawling over, under and inside the car, in our estimation the Aston Martin One-77 is not only worth every shilling, but it's a future Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm sick of Aston Martin news. Call me when they actually make a all-new car that is not a variation of their DB.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It doesn't share a single part with the DB9, it's more or less a civilized race car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I prefer the regular DBS
      Don't really like the styling of this
      • 6 Years Ago
      Luckily for all of the people above hating on this, you'll never have the problem of being near one, sit in one, or even be invited to a showroom to come close to purchasing it. Aston Martin does not give one shit if some loser blog-poster doesn't think its most phenomenal car yet isn't sex on wheels. This car is tits. perfection. Game over.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here is a video of the launch party at Galpin. Jump to about 5:00 into the video and listen to the One-77 fire up!

      • 6 Years Ago
      this is awesome, thanks for this article Jonny. Definitely, this Aston Martin's parts are well worth the money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I was a bit put off by the styling at first, but now that I'm seeing all the creativity and effort they have put into the body and chassis I am totally in love with this car now. That thing is absolutely epic. I can't wait to hear a some audio of the engine.
      • 6 Years Ago
      car is ugly as hell, and has odd proportions.

      and that big cage mouth in the front makes it even worse
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love the look of the exterior and the engine bay looks insane but what's with the interior? Why all the little dings and scratches everywhere? It looks like a prototype that has done one too many autoshows. It's like it's half way between concept car and production :s
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is all that gold foil *really* necessary? There isn't any other equally efficient, suitably light heat shielding material out there? Seems like something stuck on just to make the price even more exorbitant and therefore contribute to the "exclusivity" of the car.

      I'm questioning why they even built this car. On one hand it's an impressive feat of engineering, though nothing groundbreaking in terms of technologies used; but on the other hand, it's so rare and so expensive that I can't imagine it's ever going to be driven at anything even approaching it's actual capabilities except perhaps on Top Gear. It's just something obscenely rich people will buy to advertise to the world that they're obscenely rich.

      Though this is really my opinion of any of the ultra-cars (Veyron, Reventon, etc). This is why GT's like Aston's own DB9 and the Ferrari Scaglietti are my favorite super cars. They're still more powerful than anyone can really use, but not excessively so and comfortable enough to be used in the 'real' world (at least from what I understand, I can't speak from personal experience of course).
        • 6 Years Ago
        As far as I know, gold is the best reflector of heat. (Note: reflector, not insulator.) F1 engine bays are often lined with it. If there was something better, I imagine they wouldn't be using gold. :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      = 100 Toyota Corollas
      = 13,200 hp

      hee hee hee... worth it of course if you can afford it, what an amazing car!
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's an amazing car... but when you can tell the owner "This thing looks like a million bucks!" and have him get offended, it's just too darn expensive.

      The price just isn't justified by the sum of its parts. (Same for the Veyron, IMO.)
      • 6 Years Ago
      The embiggened 7.3 would be a perfectly cromulent addition to a DB9.
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