UK luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin has teamed up with Toyota in an innovative deal to manufacture a ‘cheap’ upmarket version of the Toyota iQ for £20,000, making it the world’s smallest luxury super-mini. The new model, called the Aston Martin Cygnet, will be offered to the company’s existing customers (and those with vehicles on order) by the end of the year, and will go on general sale following an introductory period.
Aston CEO Dr Ulrich Bez told reporters that the car is specifically aimed at Aston owners who currently own a mini-sized car, saying: ‘This concept is akin to an exclusive tender for a luxury yacht. It allows us to apply Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values to a completely new segment of the market.’
The Cygnet, devised entirely by Aston’s Gaydon design group, led by Marek Reichman, features standard Toyota iQ parts and styling, but with different wheels and tyres. The car’s exterior integrates an all-new Aston grille with the standard iQ lights to striking effect. The stylish, all-leather interior, also designed by Aston, takes the iQ’s existing instrument array and architecture, but adds new colours and stylish trim materials to give it a new look that is ‘much more luxurious than the standard iQ’s.’
I have to admit, coming from a company renowned for high-end, high emission supercars, this sounds like really encouraging news. However, you have to ask, is this a sign of a genuine willingness to embrace sustainable mobility or a cynical ploy to reduce the company’s overall CO2 emissions in the face of stringent European legislation?