Aston Martin Cygnet Gets The V8 Engine An Aston Deserves

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.

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  • Craig

    The regular Cygnet’s interior is much nicer!!

    • Mike anonymous

      Im with you all the way on that.

      To be honest though, I didn’t realize they were still making the Cygnet.

      • RDS Alphard

        They stop making it awhile ago.

        • Mike anonymous

          Oh ok yeah, that’s what I thought. It was surprising to see this from Aston Martin (especially now, being gone for/) after all this time.

          • The interior is rather crude because they have less than few months to make it, and they had to push the whole firewall inside, making the original useless.

            Probably because they need something for Goodwood, and someone suggested this. I’m glad they recognized this car though, previously they pretend as this car never existed.

    • TheVuvuzelanist

      I don’t think this thing was intended to even have an interior.. I think you are missing the point.

      • Craig

        I didn’t miss a thing.


        • TheVuvuzelanist

          If it’s a show piece, why would they put a V8 in it and make it a super wide body with a wider track but then stick a heavy, plush leather/Alcantara luxury interior?

          The whole point seems to be that it’s a performance focused mini car, so why bother with a real interior? Put a cage, racing seat, and a dash and call it done. That’s the point.


  • RDS Alphard

    Maybe if they made this instead of rebadge iQ, it would sold more.

    • Mike anonymous

      Your right, it probably would have.

    • TheHake

      The Cygnet has the best residual value of all of modern Astons. Hard to believe but true.

      • I can see why, as someone who is fan of Cygnet, this is a good city car for rich people living in place like London, Paris or New York. They want something small but still thinking of prestige. Beside has anyone ever sit in Cygnet before? It’s very plush and luxurious.

        • TheHake

          I saw quite a few on the yacht parking in St. Tropez and Antibes as well.

    • Cygnet originally envisioned with supercharged 1,3 litre. But sadly Toyota refused to do so.

  • Headache in a suitcase

    That’s the best they could do for wheel arch extensions? Maybe they should’ve consulted with Liberty Walk.

  • Bo Hanan

    That engine and that wheelbase- yikes!

  • Mark Hawthorne

    That’s appalling. A stupid PR stunt that does nothing to undo the disastrous business decision to put the original car into production. If they haven’t totally lost their way then they have thrown away the map and are heading off into the wilderness.

    • At least it’s showing that they recognize this car though. Some manufacturer prefer burying cars like this.

      • Mark Hawthorne

        Not true at all. This is a promotion for the Q-division and a customer commission. If you visit Gaydon or talk to anyone at AM they are either completely lacking any knowledge of the car or embarrassed to have ever done it. It really was a terrible car, badly executed and poorly conceived. They really should bury it. Not all publicity is good publicity – this and the flying car are stunts and beneath them IMO.

        • Still this isn’t first time they showing Cygnet, previously they made that video in the new St. Athan factory and also featured Cygnet. I still think that Cygnet is missed opportunity and who knows in the future really.

  • Mr. EP9

    Weird but I do hope to see this thing run up the hill soon. Just get the damn Supra out of the way first.

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    Aston Martin vice president and Special Operations officer David King said the model…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


  • Vassilis

    That’s pretty cool!

  • Julien Lachemoi

    To me it’s even more ridiculous and even a bit shameful than the regular Cygnet.

    • Mark Hawthorne

      Shameful is a good word for 50% of AM’s PR effort of late.

  • OdysseyTag

    Pretty much a mobile V8 engine and not much else.

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