Aston Martin Joins With Toyota on Small Car


480-astonAston Martin has announced a new compact car concept, the Cygnet. Aston calls the car a “luxury commuter concept,” but that wasn’t the biggest surprise in the news release.

The Cygnet, which means young swan, takes traditional Aston styling cues — big-mouth grille, alloy wheels and what appears to be carbon-fiber vents cut into the hood — and transposes them onto the petite proportions of the Toyota iQ city car. At only 117.5 inches long, the iQ, which Toyota began selling in Japan and Europe late last year, is slightly longer than a Smart Fortwo.

Despite the Aston makeover, the Cygnet will still be powered by Toyota’s 67-horsepower 998-cc 3-cylinder engine — 353 horsepower shy of the Aston Martin V-8 Vantage, a slinky $120,000 sport coupe that, until now, served as the brand’s budget model. The V-8 Vantage can accelerate from zero to 60 miles an hour in 4.5 seconds. The iQ takes roughly three times as long.

One obvious question is whether the whole thing is a joke. After the number for the Aston Martin headquarters in Gaydon, England, was punched in, a polite spokesman said the Cygnet, while still a concept, is very much for real. “A lot of our customers have two, three or four cars in their garage,” he explained. Company research found that this fleet often includes at least one small car for zipping around town.

“This concept — akin to an exclusive tender to a luxury yacht — will allow us to apply Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values to a completely new segment of the market,” said Dr. Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin’s chief executive, in a news release.

So seeking to capitalize on this niche within a niche market, Aston Martin came up with the Cygnet. Based on trusty Toyota underpinnings, the production version could arrive by 2010. Prices and production numbers are not set, but, according to the Aston spokesman, the price could be around $33,000. The Toyota iQ starts at $15,800 in Britain.

Already having an Aston Martin sports car could help your chances even more because sales priority will be given to existing clientele. Sales will initially be limited to Britain and Europe. But Americans can take heart. Scion could begin selling a version of the Toyota iQ in the United States as soon as late 2010, reports Motor Trend. It is likely to cost much less than the Cygnet.

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  1. […] Aston Martin Joins With Toyota on Small Car « Car World […]

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