The oft-maligned Cygnet has, since its debut, been something of an anachronism among Aston Martins. How could a four-cylinder city car wear the same badge, after all, as such legendary twelve-, eight-, or even six-cylinder grand tourers, no matter how well appointed the interior? Well the company’s Q customization division may have saved it, even if it’s just a one-off.
Showcased this week at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, this unique Cygnet has been heavily modified to accommodate the V8 engine from the old Vantage S. The 4.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 kicks out 430 horsepower, but in the smaller package, is even quicker. According to Autocar, it takes just 4.2 seconds to run up to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h), and despite its stout shape, it’ll top out at 170 mph (274 km/h).
As you might have imagined, fitting a 4.7-liter engine into the space designed for a 1.3 was no simple feat. Even if the cylinder bank is no longer in a V8 than a straight four, the Cygnet’s was originally mounted transversely, where the V8 had to be fitted longitudinally. Aston’s craftsmen had to fit a new bulkhead and transmission tunnel to make room for the bigger engine, keeping its accompanying seven-speed automatic transmission and shortening the Vantage’s driveshaft for the smaller package.
They also fitted a full roll cage, Ricaro buckets, and a carbon-fiber dashboard. The suspension had to be completely reworked as well, the bodywork extensively modified, and bigger brakes fitted to keep it all in check: 380mm discs at front with six-piston calipers, and 330mm discs with four-pots at the back. Unfortunately the car is strictly a showpiece, but what a showpiece it is.