The Cygnet, Aston Martin’s rebadged and retrimmed Toyota iQ, will play a key role in the firm’s future as it tries to meet emissions regs.
The EU has finally agreed a framework for future fleet average CO2 emissions targets, and the Cygnet will allow Aston to survive in its key European regions without having to re-engineer its sports car range or even drop its V12 in favour of a V8.
Insiders say the 96bhp 1.3-litre Cygnet could almost halve Aston’s fleet average thanks to its likely CO2 emissions of around 115g/km.
With Aston’s bread-and-butter DB9 and V8 Vantage rating 345g/km and 315g/km respectively, the Cygnet will make a big dent in the average.
The EU rules come into effect in 2012 and will be phased in over four years. By 2012, 65 per cent of a fleet has to comply, rising to 100 per cent by 2015.
Small-volume car makers like Aston and Bentley — with between 1000 and 10,000 European sales per year — have two choices. If they’re part of a bigger group, their fleet figure can be calculated as part of the parent. But Aston isn’t part of a big group, so it will have to go it alone.