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Aston's Toyota powered hatchback?

2009-12-17 07:22
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Aston Martin
Model Cygnet
Engine 1.3l VVT-i four
Aston Martin’s holding company, Investment Dar, is in a world of financial trouble.

James Bond’s preferred car maker has let 600 members of its Gaydon workforce go this year and shelved any SUV expansion plans.

On the positive side, despite the calamitous financial position Aston Martin finds itself in, the company has launched its achingly desirable four-door Rapide coupe model.

As a rule, it continues to sports probably the most aesthetically perfect portfolio of cars on sale…anywhere.

Until now. Witness the rampant irresponsibility of the Aston Martin Cygnet.

Aston Martin designers, making a mess. Intentionally...


Yes, if you recognise the proportions that’s because they are Toyota iQ-sized.

In one of the most ill-conceived joint-ventures of all time Aston Martin is keen as mustard to market this Toyota iQ badged-engineered hatchback next year.

The iQ is hardly a terrible little car. Neatly styled and cleverly engineered it’s one the best Toyota’s in recent memory and an awfully compelling city-car transport solution. As an Aston Martin though, how could it be anything else but an abject failure?

What Aston’s engineering team has done is apply a ridiculous level of brand embellishment to the iQ’s styling.

The grille is classic Aston Martin, as are those rather pointless bonnet slits and side vents – which remind one distressingly of Aston’s DB9 and Vantage models.

Around the rump the Cygnet sports typical crescent-shaped Aston Martin taillights. It's simply heresy - for lack of better word.

Inside, the three-door hatch boasts red and black contrasted leather cabin surfacing with proper Aston Martin seats and steering wheel detailing.

Oh yes, your iPhone has a slot atop the centre-console to take pride of place when driving too – priorities, priorities…

For a Toyota - very nice. For an Aston? Quite average...

VVT-i technology...Radical

Mechanically the Cygnet is powered by a Toyota 1.3l engine which drives four-cylinders to peak outputs of 72kW and 123Nm.

The engine features dual VVT-i timing technology (on both inlet and exhaust camshafts) and stop-start functionality which ensures environmentally friendly emissions control (only 113g/km of carbon output).

Performance figures are rather unworthy of something with an Aston Martin badge up front.

Top speed is a lowly 170km/h, with 0-100km/h acceleration outside the 10 second bracket at a rather lazy 11.8 seconds.

The peculiar sound the Cygnet makes when accelerating is in fact the four-cylinder hum of acute brand depreciation…

Aston is hoping for sales of between 1000 and 2000 units when Cygnet becomes available to existing Aston Martin customers towards the end of next year.

We postulate most owners would expect a Cygnet thrown in for free with their trade-in…


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