City car on steriods: Aston Martin slams a V8 into their tiniest car
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Aston Martin has taken one of its ultra-potent V8 engines and dropped it into the most unlikely car.
The 4.7 litre 320kW eight-cylinder power-plant has been stripped out of a Vantage S and shoehorned into a diminutive Cygnet - the British manufacturer's barely-bought city runaround.
It means this 3.4 metre long two-seater can hit 100km/h in 4.2 seconds and has a terrifying top speed of 273km/h.
And it's not a big publicity stunt either. Aston Martin built the one-off creation for one of its most dedicated customers, who asked them to assemble the ultimate tiny vehicle.
Aston Martin only sold the Cygnet between 2011 and 2013 as a cheeky ploy to appease EU fleet emissions regulations.
With a range crammed with high-performance - and high polluting - supercars, it had to haul down the average CO2 emissions of all the vehicles it sold.
To do so, it rebranded a small number of frugal Toyota iQs with a few sparkly badges, a fancy interior and Aston grille, then slapped a £31,000 (NZ$61,000) price tag on them and sold around 150 in the UK.
But this new V8 Cygnet is an exercise in achieving the complete opposite.
Out comes the 97bhp 1.3 litre petrol engine and in its place a gurgling motor that's more than four times as powerful.
As you can tell from the images, quite a bit of modification has been made so the minuscule car can cope with all this extra performance.
Just to fit the engine into the dinky chassis, Aston has had to custom-build a new front bulkhead and transmission tunnel.
Using a previous-generation Vantage donor car, parts including the subframes, suspension and seven-speed automatic gearbox have been surgically removed from the grand tourer and bolted on to the Cygnet.
For additional rigidity - and safety - it has a full racing roll cage, and you will definitely hear it coming with a straight-through twin exhaust system that will blast the V8 soundtrack at full volume.
The 16 inch wheels have been replaced with new lightweight 19 inch alloys, the brakes have been upgraded and a new bodykit includes outrageously wide wheel arches to give it an angrier presence. We say angry - with its teeny dimensions make it look more like a slightly miffed Jack Russell.
Inside, the comfy seats have been substituted for carbon-backed Recaro racing buckets with four-point harness belts to keep the owner securely strapped in when they decide to nip across town.
The clocks and dials have been swapped for the set that were previously in the Vantage, the driver will steer with a removable alcantara-covered wheel and there's even an FIA regulation fire extinguisher in case it turns into a small-scale barbecue.
Even with all the new additions and a bulkier motor under the bonnet, the overall weight is just 1,375kg - which isn't bad considering a standard version tipped the scales at a smidgen under a ton.
Aston won't reveal how much the customer has been charged for this bonkers bullet on wheels, but expect it to quite a premium over what was already an inflated fee for standard Cygnets.
- Daily Mail