Aston Martin Will Bring iQ-Based City Car to U.S.

Aston Martin yesterday confirmed rumors that it’s Cygnet minicar concept will indeed go into production and be sold to select customers around the world by 2012. The Cygnet will be based around the Toyota iQ, retaining its basic build and engine but gussying up interior and exterior styling to reflect Aston Martin’s luxury brand positioning.

The concept Cygnet was first revealed last December, just six months after the British carmaker selected Toyota to help it bring down the average emissions of its fleet. What seems like a frantic rush to release something green was triggered by rising fuel economy and emissions standards in Europe, which will force many of the world’s most notoriously diesel-guzzling luxury nameplates to release hybrid and electric vehicles in the coming years.

Aston Martin, for its part, has decided against tacking on a hybrid powertrain to one of its existing models or developing plug-in supercars, instead choosing to offer a restyled city car in the near term and later offering an electrified version of that car that will also depend on existing Toyota technology. The electric Cygnet is slated for a 2013 release.

So what was so attractive about small cars for Aston? The company says its market research indicates that 30 percent of its customers also own a small city car like a Mini or Smart ForTwo. That would seem to suggest that many wealthy customers often look to more practical driving solutions even though the price of fuel may be no object to them—and that Aston has a chance to use its brand equity to win customers who might consider a $24,000 Mini “slumming it.”

The Cygnet is expected to sell for about $32,000 and will at least initially be available only to Aston’s existing customers.


  • Shines

    Austin Cygnet – WOW!!! Can’t wait to see it in the next James Bond movie. ; – D

  • Charles

    “rising fuel economy and emissions standards in Europe, which will force many of the world’s most notoriously diesel-guzzling luxury nameplates to release hybrid and electric vehicles in the coming years.”

    Is this going to provide our (USA) small EV manufactures such as Tesla to get some marketing muscle. It looks like an opportunity to me.

  • zach

    Charles,

    Unfortunately, I think the short term effect will be to flood the European market with an overabundance of high-priced, low-production EVs, which would only make Roadsters less attractive. Still, luxury/performance consumers may someday begin to see gasoline as passe, and if they do, there will probably be a huge potential for growth in up-market EVs. Hopefully, the rich will begin to view filthy low-tech gas-guzzlers the same way they began to view CRT televisions and ditch gas entirely.

  • Anonymous

    hope that also borrow the Prius platform from Toyota and add the Austin Martin design touch to it ….

    I Love my Prius, but the design is not the greatest.

  • JamesDavis

    It is okay to make hybrids and electrics small, I like small cars, but why do they have to make them so damn ugly. The Cygne looks like if you are over 4′-7″, your knees are going to be right up under your chin. With the elimination of all those moving parts, you’d think an electric or hybrid would have enough leg room and storage space for a basketball player.

  • Old Man Crowder

    I like it!

    Bigger than a Smart and therefore, one might assume, safer in crashes and winter weather. Fancier looking interior than a Prius, Smart or Mini, too.

    Makes me want to move to Europe. Almost.

  • Luigi Novocchio

    wanna fuck brittish cars … are so sexy … i wanna put my dick into the hole…. so sexy