In June 2009, Aston Martin outlined plans to build a small car based on the Toyota iQ. While many saw this as an unusual dilution of the brand, Aston Martin reasoned that its luxury commuter Cygnet concept would give customers a distinctive and exclusive solution for urban travel. By using the Toyota as a basis, Aston Martin got a flexible package that could accommodate up to four people, provide versatility, low CO2 emissions and a Euro NCAP 5-star crash rating.
The car was a clever way to reduce Aston’s CO2 footprint and provide a low-volume commuter car with relatively little development on its part.
The difficulty was translating traditional Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values into a completely new segment of the market. However, the company intended to tailor the Toyota to customer requirements at Aston Martin's global headquarters in Gaydon, England.
Following that first announcement, Aston has released its first official images of the Cygnet concept. In a brief statement, the company explained that work on the concept is ongoing and will continue into 2010, when it is hoped it will become a production reality available to Aston Martin customers in the UK and Europe.
Judging by the quality of the interior appointments, the price will reach new highs for the mini-car sector, but Aston Martin won’t be expecting to sell the car in high volumes. But it will bring extraordinary levels of luxury to the segment and allow existing Aston Martin customers an alternative to leaving their DBS in the parking lot all day.