Aston Martin working on Toyota-based micro car

Aston Martin working on Toyota-based micro car

Aston Martin Cygnet

It may seem hard to believe but Aston Martin has joined forces with Toyota to develop a new minicar model called the Cygnet. The Cygnet is based on Toyota’s iQ minicar and although it’s still in the concept stage, approval for limited production is expected to be given by the year’s end.

The Cygnet will use some very distinct Aston Martin trademarks to differentiate it from its Toyota sibling. The vehicle is being designed for Europe but other details such as the launch date, price and production volumes have not been decided.

The base-car iQ, measures just three meters in length, is powered by a three-cylinder engine and has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. The Cygnet should retain most of these attributes, but its interior is expected to be far more luxurious.

More than just a quirky project the reasoning behind the Toyota partnership is to enable Aston Martin to comply with tough new fuel economy and emissions regulations coming into effect in Europe by 2012. One of the biggest problems for automakers will be to meet a target for fleet average CO2 emissions from new vehicles of 120g/km by 2012. Low volume sportscar makers like Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini, which only sell powerful vehicles with high CO2 emissions will struggle most. However, Ferrari and Lamborghini can group their CO2 emissions levels with their respective parent companies where Aston Martin is its own entity.

At this stage not just anyone will be able to buy a Cygnet. Potential customers must already own an Aston Martin. A clever move considering around 30% of existing Aston owners already have small cars such as a Mini or Smart ForTwo in their garages for city traffic.

Aston Martin Cygnet

It may seem hard to believe but Aston Martin has joined forces with Toyota to develop a new minicar model called the Cygnet. The Cygnet is based on Toyota’s iQ minicar and although it’s still in the concept stage, approval for limited production is expected to be given by the year’s end.

The Cygnet will use some very distinct Aston Martin trademarks to differentiate it from its Toyota sibling. The vehicle is being designed for Europe but other details such as the launch date, price and production volumes have not been decided.

The base-car iQ, measures just three meters in length, is powered by a three-cylinder engine and has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. The Cygnet should retain most of these attributes, but its interior is expected to be far more luxurious.

More than just a quirky project the reasoning behind the Toyota partnership is to enable Aston Martin to comply with tough new fuel economy and emissions regulations coming into effect in Europe by 2012. One of the biggest problems for automakers will be to meet a target for fleet average CO2 emissions from new vehicles of 120g/km by 2012. Low volume sportscar makers like Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini, which only sell powerful vehicles with high CO2 emissions will struggle most. However, Ferrari and Lamborghini can group their CO2 emissions levels with their respective parent companies where Aston Martin is its own entity.

At this stage not just anyone will be able to buy a Cygnet. Potential customers must already own an Aston Martin. A clever move considering around 30% of existing Aston owners already have small cars such as a Mini or Smart ForTwo in their garages for city traffic.

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