Six months after first announcing its partnership with mass-market brand Toyota, Aston Martin has finally revealed the first production of this odd affiliation, the Cygnet luxury minicar.
Still a concept, work on the Cygnet is ongoing and will continue into 2010 when it is hoped that it will become a production reality initially available to Aston Martin customers in the UK and Europe.
The Cygnet is based on Toyota’s iQ minicar but gets some very distinct Aston Martin trademarks to differentiate it from its more mundane sibling.
The iQ measures just 9.8 feet in length, is powered by a three-cylinder engine and has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. The Cygnet has kept most of these attributes but its interior appears almost as luxurious as that found in any other Aston Martin model.
The reasoning behind the project is to enable Aston Martin to comply with tough new fuel economy and emissions regulations coming into effect in Europe by 2012. Low volume automakers such as Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini, which only sell powerful vehicles with high CO2 emissions will be hit hardest. Unlike Aston Martin, however, rivals like Ferrari and Lamborghini can group their CO2 emissions levels with their respective parent companies, in this case the Fiat and Volkswagen groups.
However, not just anyone will be able to buy a Cygnet. In order to be eligible to buy one, customers must already own an Aston Martin. The luxury automaker has identified that around 30% of existing customers have small cars such as a Mini or Smart ForTwo in their garages for city traffic.
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