RE: Aston Martin finally builds the Cygnet we deserve

RE: Aston Martin finally builds the Cygnet we deserve

Thursday 12th July

Aston Martin finally builds the Cygnet we deserve

It has a 4.7-litre V8 and is rear-wheel drive now. And there's only one. Sob.



It's not often that you read about the length of a torque tube in the opening paragraph of a car's press bumf - but in the case of the one-off V8 Cygnet, it's a standout feature. "It's no small achievement to fit the Vantage's 4.7-litre engine so harminously into the Cygnet's compact body," quipped David King, Aston's special operations officer. And yet it's the smallness of Gaydon's achievement that initially staggers. Just where has the V8 gone under that stupid snout of a bonnet?

A long way back, of course, is the answer. The Cygnet (which, you'll recall, was really a Toyota iQ) used to have rear seat(s) - after a fashion - which this one does not. It doesn't have the same bulkhead at the front either - surprise, surprise - nor the same transmission tunnel. No prizes either for figuring out that the front and rear track are a little different now, either. The subframes and suspension were derived from the last generation Vantage. The fuel tank is now in the boot.


The reason for all this freewheeling madness? Well, because a customer asked the 'Q by Aston Martin - Commision' service whether it was possible, and they presumably said, sure, for this amount of money, and the customer said yes. For Gaydon's part, it's the perfect advert for the personalisation department: you dream it up and we'll figure out how to build it. Sky's the limit. (Assuming the sky stops dead at the edge of the manufacturer's back catalogue.)

Still, the V8 Cygnet could conceivably have ended up as no less of a dog's dinner than the model on which it was based. But the interior says much about our hero. The roll cage was made an integral part of the chassis from the outset; there are composite, fixed back Recaro bucket seats with four-point harnesses; there is a FIA compliant fire extinguisher system; there is a removable Alcantara steering wheel. By gum, this Cygnet has been built to be driven. Hard.


That thought is a compelling one for good reason; installing 430hp into a three-metre long car has given it rather a lot of shove. According to its maker, it'll do 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and go onto achieve what you'd imagine is a rather frenetic 170mph - fully 60mph faster than original ugly duckling. When you've have had enough of doing that, there are 380mm discs with six-piston monoblock calipers and 330mm discs on the rear to bring you back to reality. Fairly sure they weren't standard previously.

Truth be told, body panels apart, there's not really anything much of the Cygnet left. The dash is bespoke (the instrument cluster is from the Vantage); the seven-speed Sportshift II transmission is obviously carried over; the forged, five-spoke alloys are housed in carbon composite wheel arch extensions and the exhaust system - which is also rather short in length - is custom made. What you're left with then, via someone else's imagination, is a city car in Gaydon's own image. Which is probably why we love it.

 








Author
Discussion

Monkeylegend

Original Poster:

13,946 posts

166 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
There was once an ugly duckling....................................

MikeGoodwin

1,301 posts

52 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
Monkeylegend said:
There was once an ugly duckling....................................
Don't see this one turning into a swan though

TekoTime

49 posts

31 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
0-60 in 4.2 with 430bhp in such a small car sounds somewhat... wheelspinny.

Berkut666

18 posts

91 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
I am surprised that with 430bhp and that amount of torque it takes so long to do 0-60??

HorneyMX5

4,247 posts

85 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
Ridiculous. I love it.
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Norfolkandchance

1,375 posts

134 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
If it were mine I'd be going back to Aston and saying "now its passed SVA (or what ever), can you take an inch off the width of each of the wheel arch extensions, please".

1781cc

205 posts

29 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
Berkut666 said:
I am surprised that with 430bhp and that amount of torque it takes so long to do 0-60??
me too, but must be the lack of weight and lack of traction

cptsideways

12,825 posts

187 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
It does look a bit goofy to be honest

eein

311 posts

200 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
As a daily driver of a 'proper' iQ 1L manual 90bhp I can confirm that even it's 0-60 (13.6s) is limited by wheel spinning grip!

It's nice to see people doing silly things with this car... aligns with the iQ being the real 'new mini'. There's quite a few cool V8 minis made over the years (eg http://www.spagweb.com/v8mini/).

Shame Toyota stopped making the iQ and hasnt replaced it, a great car at being what it is.


NFC 85 Vette

2,257 posts

171 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
1781cc said:
Berkut666 said:
I am surprised that with 430bhp and that amount of torque it takes so long to do 0-60??
me too, but must be the lack of weight and lack of traction
I'd have thought the wheelbase and suspension setup is the limiting factor for acceleration. It would hook up fairly well initially, but there's a yo-yo effect in short wheelbase cars where they cannot sustain weight transfer to the rear - it ping pongs around and unsettles the rear end, so while it squats under load, when it rebounds it throws the weight transfer back toward the front (and there's a fairly large mass under the bonnet).

A great piece of engineering though, and a good exercise in packaging smile

AmosMoses

3,026 posts

100 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
This must be terrifying to drive, I love it!

midenginedcoupe

3,661 posts

67 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
goofy!? It looks terrible!

That interior is awful. If you want a stripped-down track car, surely there aren't many worse places to start than this? And then to presumably spend more money than most of us will see in a lifetime with SpecialOps to just get it this far is mad.

What a hateful little waste of everybody's time.

(And I freely admit to being one of the 6 people on the planet you appreciated the Cygnet in the first place. At the time there were pretty much zero well-appointed small cars on the market full stop. Yes, you'd be paying way over the odds, but at least you were getting a type of car that no-one else was making).

arkenphel

385 posts

140 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
midenginedcoupe said:
goofy!? It looks terrible!

That interior is awful. If you want a stripped-down track car, surely there aren't many worse places to start than this? And then to presumably spend more money than most of us will see in a lifetime with SpecialOps to just get it this far is mad.

What a hateful little waste of everybody's time.

(And I freely admit to being one of the 6 people on the planet you appreciated the Cygnet in the first place. At the time there were pretty much zero well-appointed small cars on the market full stop. Yes, you'd be paying way over the odds, but at least you were getting a type of car that no-one else was making).
Agreed.

Cambs_Stuart

322 posts

19 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
Berkut666 said:
I am surprised that with 430bhp and that amount of torque it takes so long to do 0-60??
Probably includes two seconds of wheelspin.
It's utter madness, completely pointless and looks very odd.
I really want one. Almost as much as i wanted the nobel from the recent carpool.

jet_noise

2,903 posts

117 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
I saw this and though of:



Agree with another poster on the width of the wheelarch extensions and wheels.
Perhaps a size down in both diam. and width. Oz Rally Racing, Superturismo or Leggenda in white would look rather nice smile

TooMany2cvs

29,008 posts

61 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
So how long is the torque tube?

Oh, and "Y8CYG" doesn't appear to be a real plate. So not road-legal? No surprise there. But V8CYG is a 4.7 litre petrol black... Toyota.

Land Cruiser. No, really. Look it up.

cookie1600

997 posts

96 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
Absolutely just my cup of tea! It could almost be a sleeper but that burbling V8 will be a give away. Lovely subtle colour and I actually like the arches.

I wonder if Aston did the IVA for the customer and what the examiner thought as this trundled into view?

Vitorio

4,294 posts

78 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
Reminds me of a Cygnet i tuned up in Forza a few years back. There was a series of races which required an Aston, and rather then doing the logical thing and picking a vantage, i took a cygnet, applied ALL the upgrades i could, gave it a DBR-9 inspired paintjob and went racing. It could easily hang with the big astons in the series, but once the back end was going, you were gone.. hehe

Good to see Aston finally pull off what we mere mortals can only do in video games

HardtopManual

1,034 posts

101 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all

RumbleOfThunder

2,616 posts

138 months

Thursday 12th July
quotequote all
3 Gaydon's. byebye