Even supercar and luxury GT makers are finally starting to think green. Bentley is trying out E85 and possibly working on a hybrid. Same goes for Ferrari. Lamborghini is even adopting solar power, at least for its factory. The latest premium brand to step to the plate is Aston Martin. Sure, the fine folk from Gaydon have already used E85 in some of their racecars, and Prince Charles is even driving a wine-powered Aston, but we just got news that the firm is taking a big step down in order to lower their carbon footprint.
Aston Martin has announced the world's first super luxury supermini. Having blown their development budget on the V12 Vantage RS, Rapide and One-77 hypercar, they turned to an unlikely partner for some help: Toyota. Aston Martin has taken the Toyota iQ 3+1 commuter and given it a tailored suit from Savile Row. The result is the new Aston Martin Cygnet you see above. In case you're wondering, "cygnet" is a baby swan.
Although technically just a concept, word has it that the vehicle will be put into limited production and sold exclusively to existing Aston Martin owners, at least initially. There's a full press release after the jump, but the Cygnet should sell for around £20,000 when it goes on sale late next year. The car will retain the iQ's unique 3+1 seating but will be tailored to the individual customer's needs when it is assembled in Gaydon. We only have the one photo for now, but from what we can see it doesn't look half bad with that distinctive Aston Martin grille, hood cutouts, side vents, and of course, the winged badge. Follow the jump for the presser.
[Source: Toyota via Autocar]
New Aston Martin "Cygnet" inspired by Toyota's iQ
Collaboration marks critical step in plans to expand 'iQ world'
Toyota's revolutionary iQ platform is about to reset traditional thinking, with plans that the world's smallest four-seater will serve as the basis for a new luxury commuter car to be exclusively built for and sold to Aston Martin owners. Toyota Motor Europe (TME) today announced that the new "Cygnet" would pair Aston Martin's trademark design flair with the Toyota iQ's highly compact and low-CO2 city driving package. The commuter car will be tailored specifically to customer requirements at Aston Martin's
global headquarters in Gaydon, the United Kingdom.
'It's a great compliment that the Toyota iQ has been hand-picked by one of the world's most prestigious sports car brands, a company with whom we also share a strong friendship. This collaboration represents a natural pairing of strategies: a small yet spacious package, perfect for the city driver, finished off with Aston Martin's iconic design language,' said Tadashi Arashima, CEO and President of TME. 'The Cygnet is a good choice for the Aston Martin owner looking for that second or third car, which is luxurious and eco-conscious,' he added.
Although radically different in size and customer base, Aston Martin and Toyota are united in their corporate philosophies of delivering superior quality, engineering excellence and innovative technology. The collaboration is also fortunate to benefit from a strong relationship underlined by a passion for cars.
The Toyota iQ is considered a breakthrough in intelligent design. Less than three metres in length, its flexible package can accommodate up to four people, providing owners with a new dimension of versatility. Featuring a range of design innovations – such as its flat under-floor fuel tank and asymmetric dashboard – the iQ is positioned as the "no compromise choice" with CO2 emissions starting as low as 99 g/km. It also offers outstanding levels of passive and active safety equipment resulting in a Euro NCAP 5-star rating.
Despite tough market conditions for the automotive industry, the Toyota iQ has proved appealing to a wide variety of city drivers with a taste for style, driving performance and low CO2. The Toyota iQ made its European sales debut in January 2009. It continues to perform in line with expectation, with over 25,000 units sold to-date.
The planned collaboration with Aston Martin is a timely endorsement of the iQ's superior packaging. The announcement marks a critical step in Toyota's longer-term planning to expand the 'iQ world' – that is, to bring new versions of the Toyota iQ to market globally and expand the company's eco-friendly line-up.