V8 Aston Martin Cygnet revealed

Doris Richards
July 13, 2018

When new, the Cygnet - based on the Toyota iQ but re-trimmed and sold by Aston Martin, to help the supercar-maker meet emissions targets - came with a 97-horsepower 1.3-litre four-cylinder. Now, the Cygnet is back, but this time as a one-off model packing a V-8 engine instead of an inline-four.

Aston Martin vice president and Special Operations officer David King said the model, which is claimed to have a flawless 50:50 weight distribution, illustrates the brand's "fun side".

One of the most exciting, extreme and pocket-sized creations ever to wear the famous Aston Martin wings made its world debut at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The upgrade to a 4.7-litre V8 from a Vantage S marks a quadrupling of the output, which the Cygnet just wasn't built to handle.

"It is also a fine example of the engineering talent within the company as it's no small achievement to fit the Vantage's V8 engine so harmoniously into the compact body of our little city auto".

The majority of the Cygnet's front end has been redesigned to accommodate the comparatively-huge engine.

The V8 engine that powers the vehicle is mated to a seven-speed Sportshift II transmission and produces 430bhp and 490Nm of torque allowing a 0-60mph sprint of just 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 170mph.

To build the auto, Aston Martin started with the steel body shell and panels from a regular Cygnet. Connected to the engine is the same seven-speed automated manual gearbox, powering the rear wheels by what Aston Martin calls a "very short torque tube".

At the rear, Aston Martin has fabricated a bespoke exhaust system which sits directly below the fuel tank.

Hiding beneath new carbon-composite wheelarches are the same 19-inch alloy wheels from the Vantage, as are the six-piston front brakes, subframes and basic suspension layouts.

It breathes out of a new twin-exhaust system with twin underfloor mufflers and 'cats, and the relatively compact layout means none of the V8's roar will be lost on the way: This vehicle promises to sound as distinctive as it looks.

From the outside, the auto is still recognisably a Cygnet with just a black mesh grille and large wheel arches to accommodate the 19-inch alloy wheels. There's an FIA-compliant fire suppression system, and a Recaro racing seat in front of a removable Alcantara suede-wrapped steering wheel and a unique dashboard with the Vantage's instrument cluster.

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