If ever there were a sheep in wolf’s clothing the Aston Martin Cygnet would be it. You’re looking at a Toyota iQ that will be re-badged and re-branded as a member of the most sporting British carmaker today: Aston Martin. Initially at least, the iQ Cygnet will only be available to current Aston Martin owners sometime in 2010. If sales go well, there is the possibility of availability to the general public. If I were an Aston Martin owner today, the simple idea of having the Dr. Ulrich Bez call me in the next year to ask me if I’d like a luxury version of the iQ would be enough for me to sell my Vantage tomorrow.
I just don’t see this striking a chord with AM owners. Not even they are blind enough to be seduced by the fake fender vents and hood louvres. They might be enticed by the reliability of the littlest Toyota though. As long as Aston doesn’t go fiddling with the mechanical bits and sticks to the cosmetic stuff.
If my some inexplicable reason, you care to read more about this little wolf sheep, follow the jump for the press release.
New Aston Martin “Cygnet” inspired by Toyota’s iQ
Collaboration marks critical step in plans to expand ‘iQ world’
Toyota’s revolutionary iQ platform is about to reset traditional thinking, with plans that the world’s
smallest four-seater will serve as the basis for a new luxury commuter car to be exclusively built for and
sold to Aston Martin owners. Toyota Motor Europe (TME) today announced that the new “Cygnet” would
pair Aston Martin’s trademark design flair with the Toyota iQ’s highly compact and low-CO2 city driving
package. The commuter car will be tailored specifically to customer requirements at Aston Martin’s
global headquarters in Gaydon, the United Kingdom.
‘It’s a great compliment that the Toyota iQ has been hand-picked by one of the world’s most prestigious sports
car brands, a company with whom we also share a strong friendship. This collaboration represents a natural
pairing of strategies: a small yet spacious package, perfect for the city driver, finished off with Aston Martin’s
iconic design language,’ said Tadashi Arashima, CEO and President of TME. ‘The Cygnet is a good choice for
the Aston Martin owner looking for that second or third car, which is luxurious and eco-conscious,’ he added.
Although radically different in size and customer base, Aston Martin and Toyota are united in their corporate
philosophies of delivering superior quality, engineering excellence and innovative technology. The collaboration
is also fortunate to benefit from a strong relationship underlined by a passion for cars.
The Toyota iQ is considered a breakthrough in intelligent design. Less than three metres in length, its flexible
package can accommodate up to four people, providing owners with a new dimension of versatility. Featuring a
range of design innovations – such as its flat under-floor fuel tank and asymmetric dashboard – the iQ is
positioned as the “no compromise choice” with CO2 emissions starting as low as 99 g/km. It also offers
outstanding levels of passive and active safety equipment resulting in a Euro NCAP 5-star rating.
Despite tough market conditions for the automotive industry, the Toyota iQ has proved appealing to a wide
variety of city drivers with a taste for style, driving performance and low CO2. The Toyota iQ made its European
sales debut in January 2009. It continues to perform in line with expectation, with over 25,000 units sold to-date.
The planned collaboration with Aston Martin is a timely endorsement of the iQ’s superior packaging. The
announcement marks a critical step in Toyota’s longer-term planning to expand the ‘iQ world’ – that is, to bring
new versions of the Toyota iQ to market globally and expand the company’s eco-friendly line-up.
[Toyota via Autoblog]