Believe it or not, Aston Martin and Toyota are teaming up to produce an Aston-flavoured version of the immensely popular Toyota iQ. Launching by the end of 2010 the car will unsurprisingly be the greenest Aston Martin ever available.
The styling - which has yet to be fully decided on - seems, to put it nicely, controversial; much like the iQ from which the cygnet is derived. I think it looks awesome, but several other TR office inhabitants voiced descriptions that I'm definitely not repeating; mainly because they're clearly wrong. Inside the layout is to remain largely unchanged, although the materials used will be of a standard Aston Martin customers would rightly expect - which is reassuring as the iQ had a decidedly 'plastic-y' feel.
Less disputable than the Cygnet's looks is the justification behind it: according to Aston Martin, some 25 to 30 percent of its customers also own a 'city car' (like the Toyota iQ) of some sort. Surely, therefore, it makes sense to offer them one with a similar level of (arguable) prestige and style as the other vehicles in their collection.
The suggestion by Aston Martin CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez that "The offering of a 'Cygnet' with a DBS, DB9 or Vantage is a unique combination of opposites and a novel transport solution allowing intelligent and sensitive mobility on an exclusive and innovative level," seems to imply that only new Aston Martin purchasers will be able to buy an Cygnet, which should certainly add a level of desirability and prestige to it. Given the £7k or so premium being asked, that's going to be needed.
As the Cygnet will use the same 1.33l, four-cylinder engine as offered on the iQ it seems safe to expect it will realise the same benefits such as a low CO2 emission level of but 113g/km. Congestion charge exemption in an Aston Martin, anyone?
I'll take two!