Aston Martin has struck a ground-breaking deal with Toyota to launch a £20,000 version of the Japanese-built iQ commuter car, badged Aston Martin Cygnet and built at Aston’s Gaydon works in Warwickshire.
The new model, officially billed as a concept, is expected to be offered for sale before the end of next year. It will initially be sold only to existing Aston Martin owners and those with cars on order, but after an introductory period it will then go on general sale.
It will instantly become the world’s smallest super-luxury saloon and represents Aston’s most radical model departure in its 90-year history.
According to Aston CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, the car is specifically aimed at the one-third of existing Aston owners who own a Mini-sized car. “This concept is akin to an exclusive tender for a luxury yacht,” Bez explains. “It allows us to apply Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values to a completely new segment of the market.”
The ground-breaking project, which has been under discussion for several months, began when Bez met Toyota’s Akio Toyoda, the newly appointed president of Toyota Motor Co and grandson of its founder, while the pair were racing at the Nurburgring 24-hour.
The Cygnet uses standard Toyota iQ mechanical components and proportions, but with different wheels and tyres. It is believed that both the iQ’s punchier 1.3 litre four-cylinder engine is the most likely be offered.