You’re aware of the Aston Martin Cygnet, the tiny city car that Aston introduced in 2011.
In truth, it was never really an Aston Martin. It was actually a Toyota iQ with a few new panels, a fancy interior, and an Aston Martin badge on the bonnet. And, if we’re honest, it’s probably best that the whole endeavour is consigned to the pages of history.
Well, except this Cygnet, which Aston has shoehorned a ruddy great V8 into.
Yep, this is a tiny city car, capable of seating just two adults, packing the 4.7-litre, naturally aspirated V8 from the last Aston Martin Vantage S. All of the 430 bhp that this engine produces goes directly to the rear wheels. Scary stuff in a car with the wheelbase of matchbox.
Why was this incredible car created, you ask? Well, it was actually commissioned by a single customer, who approached Aston Martin’s bespoke ‘Q by Aston Martin’ coachbuilding service for an outlandish small car. The result is what Aston is calling “the ultimate city car”.
How did they do it? Well, the starting point was a right-hand drive Cygnet steel body shell and panels. A roll cage was welded to this, becoming an integral part of the chassis in the process, while a new front bulkhead and transmission tunnel were fabricated from sheet metal to accommodate the V8. Subframes and suspension are also derived from the previous generation Vantage and a steel fuel tank housing has been mounted in the boot area.
Aston claims that, despite all this work, the car still very much looks like a Cygnet, and is reasonably subtle. We’d disagree there – this looks as much like a normal Cygnet as a Mitsubishi Lancer looks like an Evo 10.
Anyway, this super-Cygnet should be quite a handful. Weighing just 1,375 kg, it’s got a power-to-weight ratio of 313 bhp/tonne. As a result, it’ll do 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Oh, and it’ll go 170 mph (273 km/h) at the top end.
Braking is taken care of by 380 mm discs clamped by six-piston monoblock calipers at the front and 330 mm discs gripped by four-piston mono block calipers at the rear. The calipers are painted yellow to contrast with the Buckinghamshire green of the bodywork.
Most of the remaining parts of the braking system are taken from the V8 Vantage S with ABS and a fixed brake bias valve. Inside, there is a bespoke brake pedal housed in the V8 Vantage-derived pedal box. The gearbox is from the Vantage S, too.
Want to see this Cygnet in the flesh? It’ll be at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed before being sent off to its new owner.
What do you reckon? Is this the maddest thing you’ve seen this week?