Word has come out that the Aston Cygnet, essentially a re-badged Toyota iQ city car, is expected to be available as early as next year. Aston selling a re-badged Toyota product is interesting enough, but there's more to the story.
Aston Martin believes that many of its current drivers have a need for a small scale urban vehicle to travel around metropolitan area such as London. Rather than taking their supercar DB7 for the trip, the company believes that many current owners would prefer a small, fuel efficient runabout. In steps the Cygnet, a pint size city car capable of 60 plus mpg.
The Cygnet, based off of the Toyota iQ, will see minor Aston touches but is expected to be mechanically identical to the Toyota version. The vehicle will receive a custom interior, Aston grill and badges and a few other minor touches. The cost for the Aston comes in at $32,000, or nearly twice what Toyota charges for their version. This could be a tough sell in this economy.
Initially the vehicle will only be available to current Aston owners. Eventually the company plans to offer it to the general public.
Up to now, none of the news in this article has anything to do with hybrids, electrics, or anything else this site writes about. However, piecing together other recent information leads to site worthy material.
The Toyota iQ is a conventional, gasoline powered vehicle. Many months ago, news came from Toyota engineers about a possible hybrid version and a plug-in hybrid to follow. Toyota has reported that they plan to make a hybrid version of every model on the road. Toyota recently unveiled the FT-EV II at the Tokyo Motor Show. The vehicle is fully electric and built on the Toyota iQ platform.
Concluding that Toyota has both a hybrid and electric version of the iQ in the works leads us to wonder if Aston will also have interest in either of those models. City cars are the perfect application of EV technology and current Aston owners could travel throughout London without using a drop of gas.
In addition, Aston could charge an astronomical amount for the Cygnet EV and become profitable off of an electric vehicle, something that most automakers can not do right now. If a conventional Cygnet can sell for $32,000 the EV version should be able to bring in $50,000.
An EV Cygnet is not confirmed, but it would seem to suit Aston's purpose for building the conventional Cygnet perfectly. An urban runabout designed to conserve gas and allow Aston owners to keep their million dollar vehicles stored away in the garage while still having an Aston product to run errands in.
Source: Automotive News (Login required)