Aston Martin has shown off its Toyota iQ-based Cygnet in more detail than ever before.
These Aston Martin Cygnet official studio pictures show how Aston has integrated its own styling cues – such as its rear lights and door handles – into the iQ’s existing design.
The Cygnet’s exterior combines an all-new Aston grille with standard iQ lights to impressive effect. It has been devised entirely by Aston’s Gaydon design group, led by Marek Reichman.
The luxurious, all-hide interior, also designed by Aston, uses the existing cabin’s instrument pack and architecture, but new colours and trim materials give it a new look that's much more luxurious than the standard iQ’s.
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 to be offered.
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 go on general sale.
The Aston Cygnet will be built in Gaydon, using iQs built in Japan and specially imported to the UK for the purpose. The Gaydon factory has a flexible layout that will allow a Cygnet finishing line to be installed without disruption to present Aston models.
Aston Martin expects to build between 1000 and 2000 cars a year, with earliest cars earmarked for sale in the UK and Europe where the iQ has won a five-star NCAP safety rating. Cars will be sold exclusively through Aston dealers.
Aston insiders concede that adding the car to its range will have benefits for the company's average carbon dioxide emissions, but stress that this isn't the motivation for building the Cygnet.
Ulrich Bez, who describes Toyota as the world leader in volume manufacture, wants to offer the Cygnet to existing Aston owners as "a unique combination of opposites, and a novel transport solution”.
“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.”
In the longer term, the car could sell in markets well beyond Europe, if demand is established. It is even possible that cars which left Japan as iQs could eventually be taken back as Cygnets - at more than twice the price.