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World’s priciest car almost here

Driving a bargain: Favourable exchange rates have saved Australia’s only One-77 owner more than $1 million on the purchase price.

First and only Australian example of Aston Martin’s $2.7 million One-77 here soon

20 Mar 2012

AUSTRALIA’S only example of the world’s most expensive new car is just weeks away from arriving.

Aston Martin is preparing to deliver the first – and only – Australian-specification example of its limited-edition One-77 supercar to a well-heeled car enthusiast in Queensland early next month.

The British car-maker will not reveal the identity of its best Australian customer but, as GoAuto has reported, the nation’s single One-77 was purchased with a $200,000 deposit at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008.

When it was available for purchase, the One-77 – just 77 of which will be produced for global consumption – was priced at £1.25 million (plus local taxes), which at today’s more favourable exchange rates equates to ‘just’ $A1.87 million.

At the time, however, 10 per cent import duty, 10 per cent GST and 33 per cent luxury car tax, plus registration, insurance and delivery fees brought local One-77 pricing to almost $4 million.

However, the marketing and communications manager of Aston Martin Lagonda’s Singapore-based Asia-Pacific office has now advised that, based on current exchange rates and federal taxes, Australia’s sole One-77 is a relative snip at about $A2.7 million drive-away.

Of course, that still makes the two-seater One-77 Australia’s most expensive new car – a title previously held by Rolls-Royce’s Phantom Drophead Coupe convertible at a mere $A1,355,000.

It is also far in excess of the pricetags of some of the world’s most exclusive supercars, including McLaren’s new MP4-12C, which will find at least 32 Australian homes this year with a relatively bargain-basement price of $493,000 plus on-road costs.

44 center imageUnsurprisingly, the hand-built One-77 is also pricier than the finest from Porsche, whose $442,800 911 Turbo S will be followed next year by the million-dollar – but left-hand-drive-only – 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercar.

It also tops Mercedes-Benz’s range-topping CL65 AMG Coupe ($519,250), Ferrari’s FF super-coupe ($625,000), Bentley’s Mulsanne limo ($662,857), Lamborghini’s Aventador LP700-4 ($754,600) and Aston Martin’s own DBS Volante convertible ($526,359).

But the One-77 is far from the world’s most valuable car – an honour that currently goes to a 55-year-old Italian, the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sold at auction in the US last August for a staggering $US16.39 million.

But the anonymous Queenslander will be the only person in Australia with the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated road car engine – a 7.3-litre V12 delivering a staggering 560kW of power at 7700rpm and 750Nm of torque to its massive 20x12.5-inch rear wheels.

They will also get a relatively lightweight (1689kg) super-sportscar that British reports say will accelerate to 100km/h in about 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 220mph (354km/h) – depending on gearing – and the knowledge that every aluminium panel on the One-77’s carbon-fibre chassis was sculpted by hand.

Much of the interior has been tailored to the owner’s tastes, including colours, trims, highlights, seats and even the paddle-shift weighting.

Unlike Bugatti’s million-dollar Veyron – one of the world’s fastest production cars – the One-77 has gained full Australian Design Rule certification and will therefore be able to registered and driven on Australian roads.

As part of Aston Martin’s global certification program, the One-77 was crash-tested at Volvo’s test lab, including specific aspects that are unique to Australia.

For the privilege, however, Australia’s greatest Aston enthusiast has had to endure a long four-year wait – two years longer than expected, after initially being told delivery would take place in early 2010.

The first production One-77 was due to emerge from Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters in the fourth quarter of 2009, but was not delivered in the UK until earlier this year.

Fewer than 10 per cent have been earmarked for the big UK and US markets, as part of Aston’s effort to employ the super-exclusive vehicle as a brand ambassador in as many countries as possible.

The One-77 is not the only low-volume, high-priced Aston to arrive Down Under in April.

Another well-heeled Aston fan has also put down a deposit on the limited-edition V12 Zagato coupe, which made its production debut at this month’s Geneva motor show and will be shown to other prospective Australians from late next month.

“We have an Australian east coast tour of the V12 Zagato during late April and early May 2012 through Aston Martin dealers on the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne, at which time we are confident the remaining two Australian allocations will be filled,” said Mr Fabris.

Customer deliveries of Australia’s three Zagato V12s – from a worldwide production run of just 150, more than 30 of which are already spoken for – will not begin until 2013.

Local pricing is yet to be announced, but the V12 Zagato could cost as much as $900,000 here.

Each car is claimed to take 2000 man-hours to complete, using techniques learned from developing and building the One-77.

Areas of the factory used to build the One-77 are shared by the Zagato, including the paint shop, which coats the bodywork in one of four unique colours.

The Zagato V12 wears hand-crafted aluminium and carbon-fibre panels, but shares its 380kW/570Nm 6.0-litre V12 engine with the regular Vantage on which it is based.

Apart from revealing the production V12 Zagato, Aston Martin also used Geneva to unveil its upgraded 2012 V8 Vantage line-up – pricing for which will open more than $18,000 lower than before (at $231,500) when the first examples arrive here in June – and will use next month’s Beijing show in China to reveal an all-new model.

At the other end of the Aston scale, the company also holds a sizeable global order bank for its pint-size, leather-lined, Toyota iQ-based Cygnet, which also remains on track for Australian release later this year.

“At this stage, we’ve launched and are selling Cygnet successfully in the UK and Europe, Japan and Hong Kong,” said Mr Fabris.

“We are presently reviewing the option to bring it to Australia during late 2012.”

Australian Aston Martin dealers have taken a number of expressions of interest for the 1.3-litre Cygnet, which Aston originally planned to sell only in Europe but has confirmed a US release in 2012, with an all-electric version to follow in 2013.

Aston plans to sell 4000 Cygnets at a reported price of around £30,000 ($A45,800) each.

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