Aston Martin is Debuting a Radical V-8-powered Cygnet at Goodwood

Aston Martin V8 Cygnet

Fewer than 150 units were sold in the United Kingdom, putting Aston Martin well below its goal of 4,000 per year.

Somehow Aston Martin's engineers managed to shoehorn the 4.7-liter V-8 from the previous-generation Vantage into the tiny engine bay of the rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive Cygnet.

Aston Martin built this special Cygnet on request from one of its customers.

With 430 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque, the V8 Cygnet boasts an incredible power-to-weight ratio and launches to 60 miles per hour in just 4.2 seconds - quicker than the V8 Vantage S. The automaker is getting the opportunity to see how it runs at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it is making its official debut at the hillclimb. That said, it reaches 0-60 in 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 273 km/h. It was a cost-effective way for Aston Martin to get its average emissions down but, for obvious reasons, the vehicle was a dud and thankfully killed off a couple of years after launch.

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New carbon fiber fenders were cooked up to cover the new wheels and a roll cage was installed to toughen the chassis as well as provide extra safety in case of a high-speed mishap. To accommodate the big powertrain, the model features a new front bulkhead and transmission tunnel made from sheet metal.

At the rear, Aston Martin has fabricated a bespoke exhaust system which sits directly below the fuel tank. Other carried-over bits include seven-speed automated manual gearbox, four- and six-piston brakes, limited-slip differential, double-wishbone suspension and electrical architecture. The front and rear subframes are derived from the same donor Vantage S which supplied the engine. Flared wheel arches represent the V8 Cygnet's most obvious augmentation, added on in carbon fibre to accommodate the car's widened track.

It breathes out of a new twin-exhaust system with twin underfloor mufflers and 'cats, and the relatively compact layout means none of the V8's roar will be lost on the way: This auto promises to sound as distinctive as it looks.

On the inside, the Aston Martin Cygnet gets a fully FIA compliant fire extinguisher system while the seating is taken care of by composite, fixed back Recaro bucket seats with four-point harnesses.

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