Currently reading: Toyota iQ to be axed, says Aston Martin boss
Aston Martin boss says his company ended production of the Cygnet because the Toyota iQ is being axed

The reason why Aston Martin axed the Cygnet was because the Toyota iQ, on which it was based, is being dropped next year, claims Aston chief Ulrich Bez.

“We stopped the Cygnet as Toyota itself will stop the iQ in 2014 and we don’t want to invest any more,” he said.

Bez also revealed his disappointment and frustration that the Cygnet had not worked out as planned for Aston Martin, and outlined some of the developments Aston had wanted for it.

“I wanted to bring it to the US, but there was no support for it,” he said. “I wanted a supercharged engine, but there was also no support.

“We had a great start with [Toyota boss] Akio Toyoda, whom I still have a great relationship with,” Bez revealed. “But Toyota didn’t follow up the support like it does with Tesla and its marketing of other products.

“I think Aston did a good thing with the Cygnet and I’m disappointed it didn’t work out. It’s a great little car, particularly in London. It will be a cult car in the future and will be well looked after.”

Toyota countered that there are no plans to end iQ production and declined to comment further on Bez’s other remarks.

Dutch publication De Telegraaf is also reporting that the Toyota importer in the Netherlands is no longer importing the iQ, and will sell only the models it has left in stock. This is because it has heard from Toyota in Japan that production for Europe will cease in 2014. 

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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sirwiggum 28 November 2013

The Cygnet. What the MINI

The Cygnet. What the MINI could've been.
bowsersheepdog 10 December 2013

a small point

sirwiggum: sizewise certainly. i remember when the bmw mini first came out i expected it to be more equivalent to a mini metro than the original mini itself. the first time i followed one i was driving my rover 200 (the r8 mark 2 version) and i was astonished at the size of it. my instant reaction was "jeez it's higher and wider than this". i'm not absolutely sure i was right, it's probably a close call, but i decided there and then, and stand by it to this day, that despite the resemblance of the styling to the issigonis design it would have made more sense to take the name from another austin, the maxi. or at least to have followed a centre course and called it the midi. i do think it's decently good-looking and though i haven't been in one i'm sure it drives well, but the name is ridiculous, it is in no way a small car.
Vertigo 26 October 2013

On the nanolimo

The IQ always underwhelmed regardless of whether it wore a Toyota or Aston badge. I scalped myself trying to fit in the front, and it makes no sense on paper: despite being light it manages to be both slow and not particularly economical. Factor in the price tag, which has no justification beyond the cool styling, and it's a ridiculous proposition. As others have said, you're better off with an Aygo.

I thought Aston's Cygnet had the germ of a good idea, though. Small cars are typically made, and sold, as cheaply as possible under the assumption that people who can afford more will buy something bigger. Cheap plastics, little equipment, not a great deal of sex appeal inside or out.
This logic isn't necessarily sound. The desire to drive something that's easy to see out of, and can fit in the tiniest parking spot, isn't tied to a buyer's financial position. If you want a city car but can afford a plush interior, high equipment specification, nice styling and more power, what do you go for?

Seems BMW are finally tackling this idea with their electric i3, I wonder if others will follow suit.

Flash Harry 26 October 2013

iQ bashing

I don't see why some on here are critical of the Toyota iQ which has been hailed as a packaging and engineering marvel for a car so small.That Aston Martin decided to rebadge and charge silly money is another matter entirely.