This is the sort of thing Max Power fans dreamt of: fitting an unsuitably-high-powered engine into a small city car. Only this conversion hasn’t been done by Daz in Chelmsford, but by Toyota GB. Why? Because they could.
What are its rivals?
It’s a one-off, the Toyota Aygo Crazy. It harks back to the likes of the MG Metro 6R4 Group B rally car from the mid-80s, as well as the more recent Nissan Micra 350SR. The closest thing to the Aygo Crazy that you can actually buy (second-hand, at least) is probably the Renault Clio V6.
Which engine does it use?
Power comes from a 1.8-litre MR2 engine, mated to an MR2 five speed gearbox and fitted with a turbocharger conversion. The result is an approximate 200hp – not bad for its 1,063kg weight. It’ll hit 62mph in 5.9 seconds – and is good for an estimated 127mph top speed. We weren’t brave enough to try that out.
What’s it like to drive?
Nuts, frankly. It’s almost unsuitable for road use – with no brake servo, you have to practically stand on the brakes to bring it to a stop. It’s fitted with Brembos at the front and rear, so it will stop if you give the pedal enough force, but the lack of ABS means there’s a fine line between adequate braking and locked wheels.
Even when you’re not trying to stop, things are just as lairy. The engine sits behind you, being more than a smidgen vocal when you’re pressing on. Lift off, and the turbos chirrup away – the sound of this is properly addictive.
Of course, being a mid-engined car with a short wheelbase, the Aygo Crazy isn’t the most competent of handlers. Our test route was short and (fortunately) dry, meaning we stayed within the car’s limitations – but have no doubt that it could bite if you were to push the limits of grip. Just as the Clio V6 (and, indeed, the MR2) have reputations for snappy handling, so the Aygo Crazy isn’t a delicate sports car. There’s no stability control to save you when it goes wrong, and the heavy steering (lacking in power assistance) with limited lock means you’d have to be skilled (or lucky) to save a slide.
Fuel economy and running costs
Toyota says the Aygo Crazy will drink fuel at a slightly faster rate than the 1.0-litre car on which it’s based (which returns 61.3mpg on the combined cycle, if you’re interested). It’s probably not that thirsty, thanks to its light weight, but it’s not meant to be an eco city car.
Is it practical?
It’s not particularly practical, either. The rear seats have been replaced by an engine, and good luck finding somewhere to put your shopping. At least it has a few cupholders and the like.
What about safety?
The Aygo Crazy hasn’t been crash-tested, but we suspect the significant-looking roll cage would prevent you from coming to any real harm.
Which version should I go for?
Toyota only made one Aygo Crazy, based on the original Aygo launched in 2005. There’s talk of another being created, based on the new Aygo – but what engine should they drop in it?
Should I buy one?
You can’t – it’s a one-off, costing around £100,000. It’s totally pointless, very silly and doesn’t preview a production car of the future (unfortunately). But as a bit of fun, we’ve got a lot of respect for Toyota. If only more car manufacturers did bonkers things like this rather than pleasing the accountants all of the time.
It might look like a an Aygo with a bodykit, but the Crazy actually features a custom-made body and a carbonfibre rear wing taken directly from a 200mph race car that took part in the American Champ Car series.