Aston Martin is building an all-new, super-exclusive coupe codenamed the One-77, the company has announced. The Aston Martin One-77 will launch in late 2009 with an eye-watering £1.2 million pricetag.
Super-affluent owners will be able to get involved with the design and development of the Aston Martin One-77 to an unprecedented extent. They will get access to the company’s top designers and engineers, will have cars minutely tailored to their own requirements, and will even be encouraged to take part in suspension development.
Aston chairman David Richards said: “It’s a very special car for customers who want to take the bespoke experience to a higher level. Every car will be entirely individual.” Sketchy details of the Aston Martin One-77 were revealed in enigmatic newspaper advertisements in the UK’s upmarket daily newspapers at the weekend. Aston says it has already identified the “500 or so” people likely to be attracted to a car like this, and will take demonstration cars to them, rather than requiring them to visit a showroom.
The One-77 project began at Aston’s Gaydon works, 15 months ago. The car, a front-engined coupe with hand-formed aluminium panels over an all-new carbon fibre monocoque chassis, appears to be a two-seater coupe, but such is the level of customer input that for some it could become a two-plus two or convertible.
The One-77’s engine, a re-engineered, 7.0-litre version of the current V12 rated at about 650bhp, should make it faster than any existing Aston and push top speed beyond 220mph. Aston Martin is anxious not to be seen as ‘doing a Veyron’. Aston CEO Ulrich Bez has said that he’s not planning to produce the world’s fastest supercar, but to present his new car as a direct expression of each owner’s true desires.
The Aston Martin One-77 will also be used by the marque to demonstrate new technology. The design takes the DB9/Vantage look well beyond current iterations and the carbonfibre chassis foreshadows a similar move for lesser Astons.
In the longer term, Aston is rumoured to be forging links with Mercedes Benz to use engines and running gear for its sports cars, and possibly Maybach platforms for a revived Lagonda line. The significance of the One-77 name, which won’t be used for production cars, is that Aston intends to build no more than 77 cars. The exact number is believed to have been chosen because of Bez’s belief in ‘lucky 7’. Car assembly is likely to be at Gaydon, though the V12 engine will come from Aston’s dedicated engine facility in Cologne.