This Aston Martin Cygnet is going to polarise opinion like no other Aston model in the marque’s 96-year history.
To some, the idea of dressing a baby Toyota with Aston Martin clothes, leaving the mechanicals unchanged, putting the famous old winged badge on the bonnet, doubling the price and selling it as an Aston Martin model to existing customers will come across as an abuse of some great traditions.
However, we believe the enterprise deserves a fair wind, for three key reasons. First, the initial styling studio pictures appear to promise a remarkably good-looking little car. And given that the first rule of acceptability for any prestige machine is that it must look great, the Cygnet seems well on the way to acceptability.
Second, the underlying car’s mechanical package and road behaviour are quite good enough to survive the examination of well-heeled Aston owners. When we first drove the Toyota iQ, it struck us immediately as having genuine premium pretensions, and the impressions of good breeding and huge breadth of capability have stayed with us as the mileage on our own iQ has expanded beyond 5000. The biggest factor in this project’s favour, we believe, is that nobody’s ever done anything like it before. The Cygnet will set out a completely original course through automotive history, and how it fares will fascinating for us all.
Only one thing about the future is certain: the Cygnet is going to require unprecedented levels of open-mindedness of Aston Martin traditionalists. Let’s hope they’re up to it.