Chief engineer of Toyota’s city car project reveals the design details of the Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 108
Julian Rendell
19 March 2014

The new Toyota Aygo promises much improved driving manners, more refinement, better fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions alongside its Citroën C1 and Peugeot 108 sister models, with the trio officially revealed at the recent Geneva motor show.

Developed by Toyota, these city cars are substantially new, even though the basic platform, wheelbase and suspension are carried over from the old models.

Chief engineer Kazuhiko ‘David’ Terai revealed that the upper body is all new, while at least 30 per cent of the chassis, which includes a stiffer rear twist-beam axle, revised springs and dampers and a thicker stabiliser bar, is also new. The hidden part of the structural platform is also up to 10 per cent new.

“We wanted to improve driving dynamics on the new car, particularly for Toyota,” Terai said. “So, for example, we have quickened up the steering ratio.”

The upper bodies of the three new cars have been redesigned from scratch and are trimmed to create greater differentiation between the three brand variants.

One costly change is a new windscreen as an integral part of the all-new upper body. “We had long discussions with PSA over the A-pillar angle,” said Terai. “We wanted a more sloped-back, sportier angle. That gives us more dynamic, expressive styling.”

The base of the pillars has been moved forward, which brings the additional benefit of a slightly extended cabin, which is now 9mm longer.

As on the old cars, the headlights of the three variants are unique, but a new feature is a unique front bumper for each model.

This drive for differentiation has added a controversial feature to the new Aygo — a distinctive nose graphic of black trim arranged as a cross, with its upper arms running along the top of the front wings. The trim is moulded in plastic and fits in a groove pressed into the wings.

The cross is available in several colours — including white, silver, red and black — but can be specified as a contrast colour only.

The Citroën and Peugeot models have standard-design front wings and no contrasting trim. In order to further differentiate them from the Toyota, the Citroën, for example, has black-painted pillars to create a ‘floating roof’ effect. The Peugeot, meanwhile, has the most conventional styling and body-coloured pillars.

Aygo's new tech

Weight

The Aygo family of triplets has always appealed for its lightweight, efficient design. The new one is an impressive 840kg in lowest-spec form and 910kg in its highest spec. 

Refinement

Chief engineer Terai and his team have cut unwanted engine noise by padding the front bulkhead with extra EPDM, an asphalt sound-deadening sheet.

Interior space

The roofline is now 5mm lower but repackaging has increased headroom by 7mm. Overall, the new Aygo is 25mm longer, at 3455mm. Luggage space is up 29 litres to 168 litres.

Rear axle

The stiffer rear axle and thicker rear anti-roll bar — enlarged from 22mm to 24mm — increase the rear roll stiffness to reduce understeer and deliver sharper handling.

Engines

Just one engine is offered — a three-cylinder 998cc petrol unit with 68bhp at 6000rpm and 70lb ft at 4300rpm. It’s rated at 95g/km and 68.9mpg — a 4mpg improvement — with a five-speed manual gearbox. The optional robotised manual ‘x-shift’ promises 97g/km and 67.3mpg.

New styling

The Aygo has distinctive front styling. The cross graphic comes from the idea of an ovoid volume breaking out from a rectangle. It will move the Aygo away from the look of its Peugeot and Citroën siblings and enhance brand separation.

Our Verdict

Toyota Aygo 2005-2014

The Toyota Aygo promises Japanese reliability and French charm, but does it deliver?

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Comments
4

19 March 2014
It's a pity that there is very little technical detail here, the report seems rather fixated with the new Aygo's "design language" (just hate that term).
It would be interesting to know where the 4mpg improvement comes from (improved "testing" perhaps?), is the engine exactly the same as the previous one - and the gearing, any why, for example, is Toyota not offering the more powerful 1.2 litre option?
The car looks cracking - I'd just like to know a bit more about it other than what it looks like.

19 March 2014
"but a new feature is a unique front bumper for each model." Surely they've always had different front bumpers?

19 March 2014
@LP I think this is a magazine article published on the website

19 March 2014
Still doesn't answer why it looks like Zorro!

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