In 1964, the Aston Martin DB5 was featured in the James Bond film Goldfinger, and since that time, the brand name has been associated with style and high-performance. Aston Martin recently unveiled their newest creation, the One-77, at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. Touted as the culmination of the company’s car-building know-how, the One-77 takes Aston Martin to a new level.
The One-77 could be considered the extreme of Aston Martin, as everything from the horsepower to the price tag has been pushed to the limit. For starters, Aston’s venerable V12 engine has gotten an upgrade thanks to premium engine-building company Cosworth. The regular V12 has a 6.0-liter displacement, and the new version bumps that up to 7.3-liters, and it can now produce 700 horsepower. While this upgrade is definitely noticeable, the most important part of the change was the weight and size. The new V12 is 25% lighter than its predecessor, and a new dry-sump oil system lowers the overall height of the engine. This allows Aston to mount the engine lower, thereby lowering the car’s center of gravity and giving it a boost in handling. Also, the design of the One-77′s body allows the engine to be mounted further back towards the cabin than previous models, helping with the front to back weight distribution. It is expected to do 0 to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds and have a maximum speed around 200 mph.
The engine isn’t the only part of the car that’s lost weight, however. The chassis for the One-77 is constructed entirely out of carbon fiber. While this construction method is incredibly expensive, it gives the car great rigidity at a fraction of the normal chassis weight. In all, the Aston Martin One-77 weighs 3,307 pounds. For the sake of comparison, a 2008 Honda Accord coupe weighs 3,446 pounds.
Of course, it’s one thing to put a huge engine in a very light car. It’s quite another to build a suspension system that will allow drivers to keep that power on the road and not go spinning out of control. Enter Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve Technology. This system allows drivers (or more accurrately, their mechanics) to adjust the compression and rebound of the suspension without removing any components from the vehicle, whereas a more traditional suspension would require the removal of shock absorbers, subsequent adjustments, and then replacement in the vehicle. So, if you want a tight ride for knuckle-whitening cornering, you can have it with a few small adjustments.
All of this incredible engineering comes at a price, however. The One-77 has a price tag of around $1.4 million. Also, the model is incredibly exclusive, with only 77 being made.
The new One-77 definitely maintains Aston Martin’s image as an ultra-luxury car manufacturer, and, considering the incredible styling of the vehicle, it may just elevate them to producers of art.