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Fastest Aston Martin zooms past 350km/h

Super speed: Aston Martin's One-77 flagship hits the test track for final testing before going on sale next year.

Aston Martin’s One-77 supercar shakes and stirs test track in open-throttle run

23 Dec 2009

ASTON MARTIN’S multi-millionaires’ missile, the One-77, has topped 350km/h in shakedown tests ahead of its mid-2010 sales launch, setting a speed record for the marque in keeping with its stratospheric seven-figure pricetag.

The British brand’s carbon-fibre-clad 7.3-litre 522kW V12 flagship nudged 354.86km/h (220.007mph) at “a top-secret proving ground in southern Europe”, joining an exclusive club of warp-speed supercars.

However, it is still well short of the production-car speed king, the Bugatti Veyron, which can see 408km/h when manually locked into a special top-speed mode in which spoilers are retracted, front air diffusers shut and the body lowered to a road-scraping ground clearance of just 6.5cm.

Usually, the 8.0-litre 16-cylinder Veyron does a mere 350km/h with wings extended.

Other production road rockets include the Koenigsegg CCR (a claimed 403km/h) and McLaren F1 (386kmh), although a flock of other exotic car-makers and tuners claim to be able to venture into this rarified territory.

However, the One-77’s top speed puts it well ahead of its stablemate and fastest Aston to date, the 320km/h Vanquish.

44 center imageLeft: The Aston Martin One-77. Below: Aston Martin Cygnet.

Aston Martin said in a statement from its Gaydon, Warwickshire, headquarters last night that the speed was clocked in a series of runs in dry but windy conditions last week, exceeding expectations.

It said testing would continue into the New Year before production starts on 77 examples – hence the One-77 nameplate.

The top-self Aston will go on sale for about 1,050,000 in the UK. In Australia, import duty, GST luxury car tax and other charges would take the One-77 price to about $4 million, which at least one Australian buyer apparently has, with a $200,000 deposit paid last year.

The front-engined One-77’s normally-aspirated V12 – developed with the help of Cosworth – is an “extreme evolution” of the 6.0-litre V12 engines fitted to the DBS, DB9 and new V12 Vantage models.

It drives the rear wheels through a rear-mounted six-speed sequential-shift gearbox.

The carbon-fibre monocoque body reputedly keeps the weight down to 1500kg with race-like rigidity.

The announcement of the speed achievement comes just a day after Aston Martin revealed images of the its latest product at the other extreme of the car scale – the micro Cygnet.

Based on Toyota’s iQ city car, the Cygnet is expected to be offered to buyers of Aston’s monster machines as a daily driver in the UK when production starts in 2010.

Aston Martin One-77 owners expect to get one for free.

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