What is it?
It’s the car Aston Martin didn’t want us to drive. So, we drove it. But, in doing so, what aspect wowed us the most? Yes, the way it looks. The One-77 is blatantly exotic: poking around it, you can’t help feeling there’s very little visual or physical flab. Gather up enough time to absorb the styling and it’s like figuring out a 3D Magic Eye mosaic: there’s always something new to pick at, be it the strakes behind the front wheels, the scallops and stretched feature lines in the bonnet, even the line born on the rear surface of the headlight that stretches to wrap around the entire car. It’s delightfully complex.
Familiar with it, though. Strip off the badges and you’d be in no doubt as to its Gaydon lineage. But what grace it carries with it. The One-77 simply looks bred from the best stock.
Despite the arrival of Ferraris’ rampant F12, the One-77’s 7.3-litre Cosworth-fettled V12 remains the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated production engine. Quite a claim, and enough for 220mph and 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds. So why did Aston match it to such a rubbish gearbox? The Select Shift Manual simply isn’t in keeping with a car of this price, from the slurs and head-nods between ratios to the smell of overheating clutch during manoeuvring.
Luckily, the rest of the mighty Aston is a genuine joy. It doesn’t necessarily act with the knife-edge drama you’d expect of a 750bhp car. Instead, it’s much more relaxed and clearer in its messages. There’s a remarkable lack of lean but no slack, just the merest drift wide from the nose when you push harder. And no nasty tricks when you do something daft like lift off mid-corner. All-round ceramic brakes are amazing and, overall, the One-77 is far more approachable and confidence- inspiring than you’d ever expect a 750bhp hypercar to be.
On the inside
It’s all familiar Aston inside, yet re-proportioned. All the forms have been elongated and stretched, made elegant and highly sculptural. The detailing is amazing: every single metal piece is milled from billet, and both the leather and the carbon fibre are remarkably rich. The bare carbon doors are particularly striking. It’s easy to spend a lot of time looking at the various bits and thinking which would make the best piece of abstract art: our favourite is the door furniture that looks like a robotic donosaur’s foot.
All 77 new cars are sold out. You can buy one used, of course, but you may need more than the £1.2 million Aston charged: we expect this car to become a currency in its own right. That’s what rarity can do to retained values...