By Nauman Farooq
The name Aston Martin holds lots of street cred. Just utter its name to anyone and immediately they imagine a sleek and sexy super sports car that James Bond goes to work in.
You’d have to imagine really hard to picture agent 007 in their latest offering though. It’s called the Cygnet, and it’s their first ever attempt at a city car.
Aston Martin believes the Cygnet is a “tailor-made solution designed for the heart of the city.” The whole idea is, that since most major city centers are clogged with traffic, hence highly unsuitable for a supercar like their flagship DBS, you can still have a city car that has most of the style and luxury of an exotic car, but in a much smaller package.
Realizing that econo-cars was out of their area of expertise, Aston Martin went to the king of econo-minded cars, Toyota, and started exploring the idea of a boutique version of the tiny iQ.
When the first teaser picture was released, many thought it was some sort of an internet hoax, but it wasn’t.
Now, at the 2010 Geneva Auto Salon, the Aston Martin Cygnet has now officially been launched, and it has to be said, it’s a very interesting little car.
First there is the styling, which carries familiar Aston Martin styling cues like the wide mouth grille and those boomerang shaped tail lights.
Inside there are even more clues it’s an Aston Martin. Every inch of plastic in the iQ has now been covered in rich leather. The center console has a much nicer, high gloss finish (plus the added iPhone holder), and behind the leather-trimmed steering wheel lies an instrument cluster that would be familiar to any Aston Martin owner.
Also like any Aston Martin, the interior can be trimmed to your exacting personal requirements, even down to how many seats you want. You could have a 2+2 or a 2+1 or a simple two-seater. You even have a choice with the gearbox, from the standard six-speed manual to the optional CVT automatic.
Powering this little city car (it’s only 9.8-ft long) is an engine quite unlike anything Aston Martin has ever had in one of its cars, a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine (same as in the iQ) that produces 98 hp. But with fuel-economy figures in the 5.9-liters/100 km range, it’s much more frugal than any other Aston Martin also.
Aston Martin hopes to build between 2000 to 4000 Cygnets each year. No word yet if it will be available in North America, but then again, how many people here would be willing to spend about $50,000 to have a rebadged Toyota econo-box!