A customer requested the carmaker's customization arm, Q by Aston Martin — Commission, insert a 4.7-liter V8 from the last-gen Vantage S into the Cygnet's engine bay. The grafting job, dressed in Buckinghamshire Green, weighs 1,375 kilograms or 3,025 pounds with fluids, and posts a power-to-weight ratio of 284 hp-per-ton in U.S. parlance, 313 bhp/tonne in UK units.
Aston Martin engineers shortened the intake system to keep the Cygnet's standard hood unmolested. The motor blows out the other end through a twin, centrally-mounted exhaust at the end of very short pipes. Other components carried over from the Vantage S include the front and rear subframes, suspension, most of the braking system, and seven-speed Sportshift II transmission.
The Q department welded in a roll cage, occupants sit in fixed Recaro buckets with four-point harnesses, the driver grips a removable, Alcantara-covered steering wheel, there are leather pull straps on carbon door panels, a steel fuel tank fills the cargo area, and an FIA-compliant fire extinguisher system keeps things cool if the temperature gets too hot. Should the V8 Cygnet pretend to its city car origins, there's a Vantage instrument cluster, air conditioning, and two USB ports.
The original Cygnet, based on the Scion iQ and out of production since 2013, got from 0-60 miles per hour in about 11 seconds. The V8 Cygnet does that in 4.2, and taps out at 170 mph — 60 mph past the standard Cygnet's top speed. (autoblog.com)
Aston Martin Cygnet (2011-13)
(Photos from autoblog.com, autoexpress.co.uk, autoevolution.com & carscoops.com)