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2012 Toronto Auto Show: Aston Martin One-77 has Canadian connection

It may not be the most exclusive new car in the world, but if not, it’s not far down the list.

  • Choosing a car at dealership. Thoughtful grey hair man in formalwear leaning at the car and looking away

It may not be the most exclusive new car in the world, but if not, it’s not far down the list. It’s one of just 77 that will ever be built.

That’s how the Aston Martin One-77 got its name. Each is “One-of-77.”

It’s also among the most glamorous of production cars. And its 750-hp 7.3-litre V-12 has been labeled the most-powerful naturally-aspirated engine currently available in a road car.

See how this beauty got delivered to Toronto:

More: Everything you need to know about this year’s Toronto auto show

In addition, with a price tag around $1.7-million (Cdn) it’s among the most expensive of cars. Something special, indeed.

Alas, the One-77 may not be on your shopping list — it’s not even sold in North America — but you can still ogle one and dream at the Canadian International AutoShow, where it will arguably be the centrepiece of the Auto Exotica exhibit in the North Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

It will be in elite company, for other exotics in the display include a Callaway Corvette, a Ferrari FF, a Pagani Zonda and a 1001-hp, quad-turbo, W-16 Bugatti Veyron. All of them worth drooling over.

But the Aston Martin has something none of those others can match: a Canadian connection.

The One-77 begins its life in the GTA. Its core construction, the carbon-fibre body/chassis structure, is built in Markham at a company called Multimatic.

Multimatic may not be as well known by the public as some other Canadian automotive companies, such as Magna, but it is a major supplier of parts and components to the auto industry.

It’s also a familiar name in the racing world, for Multimatic designs and builds everything from damper systems for Formula 1 cars to race-ready Mustangs for Ford.

But the company’s technology capabilities go even deeper. Its engineering portfolio includes such vehicles as the Shelby Series 1 and the Ford GT, as well as the Aston Martin One-77.

Not only does Multimatic build the core monocoque structure of the One-77, it was responsible for its engineering, along with that of the car’s race-car-like suspension system and pretty much everything else, except for the interior and the drivetrain.

As might be expected, with a production run of just 77 vehicles over a couple of years, it’s not exactly built on a production line.

When I visited Multimatic, workers were fitting bits to a single carbon-fibre One-77 shell on a surface plate. That’s the way they’re built — one at a time. It takes about four days for each body/chassis unit.

The structure spends a good part of that time baking in an autoclave — a huge heated and pressurized container where the composite materials and their bonds are cured. It spends three separate sessions in the autoclave before it’s finished.

Then it is air-freighted to Multimatic’s European Technical Centre, in Thetford, England, where suspension and other components are added. And from there it goes to another supplier where its hand-crafted aluminum body panels are fitted.

Only then does it arrive at Aston Martin’s dedicated final-assembly facility in Gaydon, where the car is completed.

And what a car it is.

Its voluptuous shape, the work of design director Marek Reichman, is both sleek and menacing at the same time. With its exceptionally wide rear flanks, it appears poised to leap.

But it’s functional as well as beautiful. Among its many features is a Multimatic-designed active aerodynamics and ride-height system that includes a deployable spoiler.

Inside, it’s pure luxury, with stitched-leather everywhere, except for a bit of high-gloss carbon-fibre. Customers can have it specially fitted to their form and taste.

As noted above, the front mid-mounted quad-cam Aston-Martin V-12 engine is rated at 750 hp, and 553 lbs.-ft. of torque. A six-speed manu-matic transaxle delivers power to the rear wheels and its adaptive suspension system keeps the package stable.

According to Aston Martin, the supercar can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in less than 3.7 seconds and its top speed is more than 350 km/h. Enough said!

Toronto’s show-goers are privileged to have the One-77 at the CIAS, for this is its only auto show appearance in Canada. And it wasn’t at Detroit or Chicago, either.

In fact, the car has made only three other show appearances on this side of the Atlantic. It was shipped to North America specifically for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last August, and subsequently appeared at the Miami and Los Angeles auto shows, in Aston Martin’s two major North American markets.

Then it was scheduled to go back to England. But CIAS president Joel Cohen saw the car in L.A. and had other plans in mind.

It’s thanks to his persuasive efforts, along with the assistance of Paul Cummings, owner of Grand Touring Automobiles, Toronto’s Aston Martin distributor, that the car is appearing here.

So be sure to check it out. This may be the only One-77 you will ever see.

Auto Exotica at the show

The Aston Martin One-77 is not the only exotic car at the AutoShow. Other multi-million dollar hardware includes a Bugatti Veyron and a Pagani Zonda R, as well as a Lotus Evora, Ferrari FF and a Callaway Corvette, all on display next to the Wheels booth on the 100 Level of the North Building.

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