"Thanks to its association with an infamous secret agent, the name ‘Aston Martin’ and the initials ‘DB’ conjure up all sorts of British spy movie connotations. But while the DB5 may well be popular culture’s most famous David Brown "
One-77 – Aston’s ‘False’ Grand Tourer
Is the One-77 a 'false' Grand Tourer? Let us explain
Be patient with me for one moment, please. I’m going to drop an F-bomb.
Football. There, I’ve said it. In football you have strikers, players who wear the number 9 on their backs and lead the line and attempt to score goals. Until that is, one day somebody decided to try something different. What if they don’t try to score goals, what if they drop into midfield? Thus, the ‘False 9’ position was created. Aston Martin clearly thought the football coaches were onto something because Britain’s foremost producer of Grand Tourers made its own ‘False’ car back in 2009.
From the outside, the recipe looks fairly normal for an Aston Martin. It’s front-engined, rear-wheel driven with a beautiful interior and exterior formed into the traditional two-door coupe shape that nearly all Aston’s are. You think you know what to expect. You think you’ve got it sussed out. It’s an Aston Martin, right? Well, yes, and no.
For a start the V12 engine we find beating away at the heart of most Astons is no normal V12. Aston took a standard normally-aspirated 6.0-litre of its V12 commonly fitted to its other models and mutated it. Contemporary reviews of the new car mentioned its new character, there was something wilder and unchained about it, but then again there probably would be – it was now a 7.3-litre unit and had 750bhp to unleash.
Then there’s the construction. Most of the car is covered with hand-crafted aluminium body panels, but if you peel those off you’d find a carbon fibre monocoque construction under the skin with room for just two seats. Look at the front and you’ll see that huge V12 has been set right back into the middle of the car – oh, it’s mid-engined. The splitter and diffuser are also carbon fibre, there’s active aerodynamics at work, fully adjustable suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, and perhaps most significantly of all there’s nowhere to store luggage. Well, that’s no good for Grand Touring, is it?
If you’re building a Grand Tourer, there’s no real need to go to the trouble of constructing a car in this manner. Of course, maybe Aston Martin just did it for the Hell of it, but there’s surely more to it than that. It’s capable of 220mph, 62 of those arriving in under 3.7-seconds, and has huge Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres – rubber optimised for pure performance. Come on, this construction, these figures, this layout? This is pure hypercar. This is Aston Martin’s ‘False GT’ then, a car that’s far happier being used as an outright sports car, something that really needs to be let off its leash in order to be fully appreciated.
Aston itself doesn’t really make an effort to truly define it. It’s mentioned as a ‘sports car’ and as having ‘the goal of eclipsing any previous Aston Martin road car’. In truth, only the lucky owners will really know how the car drives, but it’s safe to say that though it might look like a GT car, the extremities to which Aston Martin went to construct and equip the One-77 suggest it’s a far, far more hardcore creation.
If you want to experience it for yourself, you’ll now need at least 2 million quid to buy one. Originally the One-77 was priced at £1.15m with a super-exclusive production run of just 77 cars. One of those cars was killed in Hong Kong, so with just 76 cars left out there in the world remaining, prices are going to be pretty steep.
Whatever the One-77 really is, nobody can deny that it’s something really, truly special. There won’t be many normally aspirated V12 sports cars produced going forward – if any at all – and so the One-77 may represent one of the last great flourishes of the ‘old way’ of doing things. Because of that, maybe this particular player is worth forking out the big transfer fee for.
Oh, to have a few million quid lying around…
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