Aston Martin won’t make any mechanical changes to its Toyota iQ based Cygnet

Yesterday was a pretty surprising day in the automotive industry with Aston Martin announcing an innovative alliance with Toyota to develop the Gaydon automaker’s first luxury compact, fuel-efficient vehicle. We’ve now dug up some more information on the new Toyota iQ based Aston Martin Cygnet, which may surprisingly enter production as early as next year.

‘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.

Reports say that Aston Martin will build up to 2,000 units of the Cygnet annually. The luxury supercar automaker won’t be making any mechanical changes to the iQ, which will be built and shipped directly to Aston’s assembly plant by Toyota. The only changes Aston will add is a new grille, minimal changes to the headlamps and Aston’s signature vents on the hood and front quarter panels. It will also trim out the interior with upgraded technology and leather.

Aston says it will first offer the Cygnet to current Aston Martin owners and will later off it to others interested in the car, reports Automotive News.

Pricing is expected to come in at 23,000 euros ($32,285 USD), up from Toyota iQ’s base price of 12,700 euros ($17,827 USD).


2010 / 2011 Aston Martin Cygnet

Badge-engineering has a bad name in the industry for a reason. It’s essentially a cheap way to expand a brand’s portfolio, but it does not respect heritage and brand values. Think of the ridiculous Chevy TrailBlazer–based Saab 9-7X or, further back, Cadillac grafting its logo onto a Chevrolet Cavalier and selling it as the Cimarron.

Yes, It’s Real

Imagine then what the Cygnet, an awkwardly restyled version of the 117.5-inch-long Toyota iQ minicar, is going to do to the image of Aston Martin, one of the most prestigious ultra-luxury brands and self-proclaimed “world leader in exclusive niche engineering.” Believe it or not, the blobby Aston Martin Cygnet, which is only a concept for now, is set to go on sale in Europe in the first half of next year.

The Toyota iQ was launched in January 2009 as Toyota’s answer to the rear-engine Smart. (It is likely to come to America soon badged as a Scion.) Unlike the Smart, but in typical Toyota fashion, the iQ is conservatively engineered. The tiny four-seater houses its powerplant up front and rides on a platform that draws heavily from the bigger Yaris. Weight varies depending on equipment and engine, but the iQ generally tips the scales at just over a ton.

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