The Aston Martin Cygnet, which we first told you about here, has been given approval for production, but it’s not yet clear if the car will be sold in the UK, the EU , the U.S. or all three markets. The city car for the elite will be a rebadged and tweaked Toyota iQ, powered by a 1.33 liter inline four good for some 98 horsepower. Although Toyota offers a six speed manual in the iQ, it’s unclear if Aston Martin will offer a transmission choice other than the CVT.
The appeal of the Cygnet is park-it-anywhere size and fuel economy, but it remains to be seen if Aston Martin owners are
dumb progressive enough to pay two to three times the cost of a Toyota iQ for a Cygnet. Carscoop estimates the price in the UK will be between $47,500 and $79,000, which is a huge amount of money to ask for a car that is neither sporty nor heavy on luxury. How quiet can the car be, even with additional sound deadening? How good can the ride quality be in a car that has the wheelbase of a go-kart?
Aston Martin calls the Cygnet a premium, bespoke commuter car, but even a restyled exterior and upgraded interior can’t erase the fact that the car is based on an entry level Toyota. Upscaling the Chevy Cavalier and calling it the Cadillac Cimarron didn’t work for GM, so I’m not sure why Aston is expecting success with the same model.
Sadly, the car is absolutely essential to Aston Martin’s continued existence. Under ever tightening EU fuel economy and emission standards, the automaker has no chance of being compliant unless they offset sales of luxury performance cars with sales of the Cygnet. That’s some heady expectations, especially when you limit sales of the Cygnet to existing Aston Martin owners.