430bhp Aston Martin V8 Cygnet debuts at Festival of Speed


430bhp Aston Martin V8 Cygnet debuts at Festival of Speed

Aston Martin's two-seater Cygnet city auto might not be your first port of call for a 430hp racer, but that hasn't stopped the British automaker's engineers crafting a weird one-off with the V8 engine of a Vantage. That's right, this monster Cygnet, which Aston sold in the early 2010s and was based on the Toyota iQ city vehicle, was built for one very lucky (and brave) customer.

Reimagining the Cygnet as the "ultimate city car" required extensive modification to accommodate the V8 Vantage S's 4.7-liter V8. The auto also features the previous Vantage's seven-speed automated manual transmission, limited-slip differential, and suspension. Instead of its original, rinky dink 1.33-liter engine underhood producing just 97 horsepower (72 kilowatts), the Cygnet now wields a raucous 4.7-liter V8 and a few extra performance goodies. The one-off V8-Cygnet was created by the brand's "Q" branch for a customer commission. Aston Martin is bringing it along to the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, though our hopes for a single-model racing series of roaring Cygnets probably won't come to fruition. It's a seven-speed Sportshift II transmission, sending power to the rear wheels through a tiny torque tube.

"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 Cygnet's compact body".

Big things, small packages: Aston Martin reveals V8 Cygnet
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One of the secrets behind the Cygnet's new-found turn of pace (besides the V8 engine) is how little it weighs. It can actually out-accelerate the Vantage S, reaching 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds and continuing on until 170 miles per hour. The automaker is getting the opportunity to see how it runs at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it is making its official debut at the hillclimb.

Speaking of wheels, they're up from piddly 16s to meaty 19-inch rims, encasing beefy brakes and nearly bursting from the Cygnet's diminutive bodyshell. Behind it sits a bespoke carbon dash with the familiar Vantage instrument cluster. There are, of course, little touches of luxury inside as well, with leather pull straps on the unique carbon door cards and two USB ports alongside the bespoke controls for the air conditioning.