Aston Martin‘s been known to cram big engines in small places – like the big 6.0-liter V12 it slotted into the six-cylinder DB7 (the model that arguably launched the automaker’s rebirth in the mid-’90s) and then again a decade later into the V8 Vantage. But the V8 Cygnet is another beast entirely.
Nearly half a decade since its discontinuation, Aston brought its city car – essentially a rebadged Toyota/Scion iQ – out of retirement, slotting the eight-cylinder engine from the old V8 Vantage S under the hood where a 1.4-liter four-pot used to be.
The transformation, as you might imagine, was more than a simple engine swap. The job required substantial modification to both the vehicle receiving the engine and the mechanical components shoehorned into it. But watching it unleashed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, we’re glad the tinkers at Gaydon’s Q division undertook the considerable task entailed.
You don’t have to take our word for it, though. Just watch it do its thing on the hillclimb course. We’re not sure about it nearly doing a backflip, as the video title describes. But with so much muscle in such a small package, it (nearly) lifted its inside front wheel under hard and fast cornering. The one-off show piece does, after all, have nearly five times the power and over two-and-a-half times the twist (from twice the cylinders and more than three times the displacement) as the standard Cygnet did.
It’s a case of seeing-is-believing, if we’ve ever come across one. So if you didn’t get to see it in person, you’re gonna want to check it out in these action clips below from the venue and the manufacturer.