Newest Aston Martin V12: The Cygnet?

Some rumors are so extraordinary, you’d swear they have to be made up.

The Nissan Juke-R began that way, at least in my mind. Why would a supercar engine and drivetrain get stuffed into a mediocre mini crossover? It didn’t make sense or even seem possible. And yet, it happened. In spectacular fashion.

This next rumor wades even deeper into the crazy. It involves a car that shouldn’t even exist and an engine that will never fit inside.

The Aston Martin DBS. The V12 Vantage. The Vanquish. These are some of the cars that Aston Martin has produced that proudly and appropriately harbor a mighty V12 under the hood.

Not all Aston’s have V12 engines, some do just fine with V8 mills under their bonnets. One little-known  Aston Martin, though, comes with a 97-hp 1.3-liter 4-cylinder. The Cygnet is a reworked Toyota/Scion iQ, which Aston fitted with its signature grille, non functional-hood and fender vents, LED-taillights, and contour headlights. Inside, the bespoke interior includes altered instrument graphics, an iPod touch dock on the center console, and leather seating surfaces installed by Aston’s master craftspeople.

The Cygnet is only 10 feet long, 5.5 feet wide and has a 78.7-inch wheelbase. It’s not just small, it’s downright diminutive. So a rumor that Aston might try and squeeze its 6.0-liter V12 into the little commuter just doesn’t make sense. Were would it go? There’s just not enough room, right?

Here’s what AutoCar says on the topic:

Sources suggest that a feasibility study has already been completed, and that the 6.0-litre V12 from its range-topping cars will fit the tiny city car’s engine bay without extensive modifications. Other upgrades to allow the Toyota IQ-based Cygnet to handle the weight, horsepower and torque of the powertrain are said to be “significant but not insurmountable”

The irony of this whole thing is that Aston Martin brought in the Cygnet to help improve fleet fuel economy numbers. Wedging a V12 into the little car would certainly wipe that out! Then again, as the Juke-R showed, there are people willing to pay huge amounts of money for modified cars like this. And where there’s money, there’s no need for common sense.

Maybe Toyota should follow Aston Martin’s lead and make a V12-powered Scion iQ. Someone would surely buy it, right?


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  1. This is part of the continuing story of Aston Martin destroying its own brand with silly side projects. They should be suing Ford for copying their iconic grille treatment. For some reason, most of the European car makers seem bent on producing bizarre exercises to make Jezza swoon on Top Gear.

  2. Why not? It’s actually pretty shocking that Aston hasn’t yet modified the engine. Bring on the v12!

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